Mar 9, 2013 4:02 PM by katc
Four Louisiana agencies are gathering information on nutrients in watersheds across the state with an eye toward reducing their impact on the Gulf of Mexico and "dead zones."
The "dead zone" is an area of low oxygen that develops every spring and summer.
The dead zone forms because fertilizer and other nutrients run into the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf. The nutrients feed huge numbers of microscopic organisms.
When they die, their decomposition uses up oxygen. It is a recurring problem affecting sea life off the Louisiana coast, and sometimes the coasts of Mississippi and Texas.
State officials tell the Advocate (http://bit.ly/Z93NJf) that they are looking at reducing the nutrient problem with diversions of sediment and water from the river into surrounding marshes.