The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where the oxygen is so low that fish and shrimp can’t live.
Scientists say this year’s dead zone is 8,776 square miles now -- about the size of New Jersey. Over the last five years it’s averaged 5,543 square miles.
It’s caused largely by agricultural runoff from the Midwest, and brought downstream by the Mississippi River. That runoff is high in nitrates, from fertilizer, which causes algae to bloom. When the algae dies, it sucks oxygen out of the water.
“So it’s a phenomenon that, to my understanding, didn’t even really exist before the 1970s, but is an environmental response to high nutrient loads, primarily nitrogen and phosphorous,” says Seth Blitch, Coastal Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana.
You wouldn’t think Indiana and Louisiana have much in common. But that hasn’t stopped the Indianapolis Zoo from developing a partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana. Their goal? To draw attention to the Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone.
Professor Cathy Kling of Iowa State University, Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Marine Consortium, and Professor Eugene Turner of LSU's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences join the show for the first two segments to discuss the Gulf of Mexico's "Dead Zone." The three of them have been co-authors on recently published journal reports on the "Dead Zone" and they discuss and explain the causes of it, the impacts of it (both economically and environmentally), as well as ways to help reduce it.
Also, pollster Bernie Pinsonat joins us in studio to close out today's show. He and Jim discuss the upcoming November elections in Louisiana, as well as the recent remarks from Governor Bobby Jindal on his bid for the White House.
Former Mike the Tiger caretaker Paul Marx, a well-known lawyer in Baton Rouge, remembers caring for Mike II and even bringing him to his family home one night. LSU is apparently close to unveiling Mike VII, but the mascot will not be present at LSU games this fall.
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards reflects on his upcoming 90th birthday. Edwards is Louisiana's only four-term governor. He went to trial as a defendant four times, was convicted once, and served eight years in prison.
He discusses his complex legacy and offers insights on state and national politics. He assesses the performance of Gov. John Bel Edwards and of President Donald Trump.