On the Radio: The Dead Zone


Photo by Goddard Photo and Video; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers actions being taken to combat the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Environmentalists across the US are making progress with the EPA to combat the growing “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey in New Orleans gave the Environmental Protection Agency six months to decide whether to set Clean Water Act standards for nitrogen and phosphorous in all U.S. waterways or explain why they’re not needed.

The dead zone is a stretch of nearly lifeless ocean off the coast of Louisiana. This area kills or drives off fish, crustaceans, and other sea life because it is so depleted of oxygen.

In Iowa, water recreation is a big business, generating $1.2 billion in annual spending and supporting 14,000 jobs. Yet Iowa’s lakes have among the highest nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the world. Consequently, this has caused problems, including algal blooms and poor water clarity. 79 of the state’s top recreational lakes have been placed on Iowa’s impaired waters list.

To learn more about environmental legal action, pollution, and water quality in Iowa, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

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

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