A dead zone is an area of water that is void of oxygen needed to support plant and animal life. Just off the coast of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, a large dead zone is anticipated to grow in the next few weeks, largely due to record amounts of water flowing down the Mississippi River. The dead zone phenomenon happens every year but scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believe this year could be one of the largest ever, due to abnormally high levels of water being discharged from the Mississippi River system. The Mississippi River is the second-longest river in the world and the second-largest drainage system on our continent (behind Hudson Bay). As water flows out of farm fields and cities, it enters the tributaries of the Mississippi River. Locally, this includes the Cedar, Rock, Maquoketa, Wapsipinicon, and Iowa Rivers. River flood warnings are in effect from the Quad Cities, all the way to New Orleans right now. The water in the Mississippi has high levels of nutrients and sewage […]