Scientists are concerned about the rising rate of “dead zones” in coastal waters worldwide. Dead zones are oxygen-deprived pockets of ocean floor that are being caused by nitrogen and phosphorous from chemical agricultural fertilizers that flow in waters from farm fields. According to a Reuters story, in the past 10 years the number of dead zones has increased by one-third to 405 worldwide. The biggest dead zone in the world measures about 30,000 square miles in the Baltic Sea, and following close behind is another one that in the Gulf of Mexico that starts at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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