Massive 8,000-mile “dead zone” could be one of the gulf’s largest

Seen from above, the Mississippi River carries sediment into the Gulf of Mexico. That sediment often contains pollutants from fertilizers that cause a spike in algal blooms. PHOTOGRAPH BY PHIL DEGGINGER, NASA LANDSAT/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Record-breaking rainfall across the Midwest has washed tons of fertilizer and sewage water along the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico, contributing to a larger polluted area than ever.

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