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America’s Coastlines Are Turning Into ‘Dead Zones’

Brendan Smialowski/Getty When it rains in the Midwest, runoff from fertilizers laced with nitrogen and phosphorus leak into streams and creeks, many of them eventually dumping into the Mississippi River. The chemicals float hundreds of miles south into the Gulf of Mexico, then out to sea where they begin to spur algae and microbe growth. As the algae decomposes, oxygen disappears.
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