This year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico will be the third largest ever, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers predict.
Fertilzer runoff from Midwestern farms and sewer discharges along the Mississippi and Atchafalya rivers cause the annual oxygen depletion, a condition known as hypoxia.The nutrients bring the growth of algae blooms, which sink to the bottom of the gulf and suck up the oxygen, forcing fish to leave.
States have reached an agreement to reduce the nutrient runoff and the size of the dead zone. Environmentalists say not enough is being done.
If President Trump - my fingers recoil at typing those words - succeeds in slashing NOAA's budget, the monitoring of the dead zone will decline, along with efforts to reduce the fertilizer and sewer discharges. The country keeps on winning.