On the Radio: The drought’s environmental benefits


Photo by cwwycoff1, Flickr.
Photo by cwwycoff1, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the benefits of last year’s drought.

This past year’s drought actually had some benefits for Iowa’s environment.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The negative impacts of the drought are well documented, but there were also a few environmental benefits from the dry conditions. While most agriculture suffered during the drought, grapes thrived. Grapes grow better in dry conditions, which led to a good year for Iowa’s wineries.

Iowa’s pheasant population also benefited from the drought since they struggle to survive in cold and wet temperatures after they are born.

Maybe the most important environmental benefit of the drought was the reduction in agricultural runoff in Iowa. With the limited amount of rain, less nutrient pollution entered Iowa’s bodies of water. This nutrient pollution contributes to an area in the Gulf of Mexico known as the Dead Zone that’s uninhabitable for most marine life.

For more information, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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