“Down the River” – news from TN Clean Water Network

Source: Tennessee Clean Water Network
Source: Tennessee Clean Water Network

From the Tennessee Clean Water Network news release:

Do you know what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone? Did you know that Tennessee pollution plays a role in the loss of aquatic species in that Dead Zone?

Many Tennessee lakes and streams are being affected by a form of water pollution with which you may not be familiar – nutrient pollution. Agricultural activities, like farming and breeding cattle, produce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from wastewater and fertilizer runoff. When nitrates and phosphates increase, so do algal blooms. When algae grow and decompose, dissolved oxygen levels decrease, which means our fish and other organisms can’t breathe. Sometimes they come back, and sometimes we lose them for eternity.

Nutrient pollution is a problem for Tennessee lakes and streams, and TCWN works fervently toward awareness and correction of this issue with their work across the state. But the problem goes beyond Tennessee borders. Many of our rivers flow into the mighty Mississippi, and then down to the Gulf of Mexico. There, scientists have been warning of a steadily-increasing area ominously called the Dead Zone. Predictions for its size in 2013 were just released and the news is not good. This year, the Dead Zone might be as large as the state of New Jersey in area – between 7,286 & 8,561 square miles.

Final data will be released by the US Geological Survey in October and will be analyzed by top marine scientists throughout the world. Nutrient pollution is a worldwide problem, and can only be stopped by educating farmers and rural residents, and by supporting regulations for limits on this pollution. That’s why TCWN is proud to be a member of the Mississippi River Collaborative, a coalition of environmental groups and legal centers working hard to ensure that we always have a Mississippi River ecosystem that thrives.

Sustainable living is the key to our future, and TCWN works hard to keep our water environments healthy. Can you help support this important mission? Click here and sign up for a monthly donation of just $10. Do your part, and we can continue to do ours.

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