The Dead Zone is an hypoxic or oxygen-depleted zone in the Gulf of Mexico that is largely attributed to the loss of nitrogen from agricultural land in the Mississippi River Basin.
In the United States today, almost 3,400 waterways are impaired by nutrient pollution. The Clean Water Act and other federal and state programs have helped to improve water quality, but much remains to be done to meet national goals.
Although the notion of sustainable agriculture is attracting considerable interest, little information has been available for evaluating current levels of agricultral sustainability in the United States or the policy options that will best promote it.
Today, pollution is occurring on a vast and unprecedented scale around the globe. Trends point in two ominous directions: