Case Studies in Earth & Environmental Science Journalism

Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico .

Questions to Ponder and Discuss


Background & Technical information:

Turner, R. E., and Rabalais, N. N., 1991. Changes in Mississippi River water quality this century. Implications for coastal food webs. BioScience, v. 41, p. 140-147.

Turner, R.E., and N. Rabalais. 1994. Coastal Eutrophication Near the Mississippi River Delta. Nature 368:619-621.

United States.  Congressional Research Service.  Marine Dead Zones: Understanding the Problem. November 1998. 5 November 2004  

Press Releases.

Farm Bureau Files Comments on Gulf of Mexico Report. 8 Aug. 1999. American Farm Bureau Federation. 6 November 2004

“Farm Bureau Muddies Debate on Mississippi River Pollution: Illinois River Advocates Set Record Straight on ‘Dead Zone’ Connection.” PR Newswire. 9 August 2000.   

Popular Articles.

Miller, David.  "Tightening the Belt."  Seattle Times  5 Jan. 1992: A1.

Untitled Wire Report. United Press International  25 July 1985.

“Fertilizer seen as key to poor gulf water quality.” Engineering News-Record  12 Nov. 1987: Pg. 1.

Mayfield, Mark. “Scientists venture into depths of the 'dead zone'.” USA Today  12 June 1990: 5A.

Stammer, Larry B. “Gulf of Mexico under siege Wave of pollution threatens beaches, fishing grounds.” The Toronto Star  2 July 1990: A11.

“Gulf fish kill blamed on mix of 'dead zones,' Hurricane Andrew.” United Press International, 29 Aug. 1992.

Holmstrom, David. “Mississippi Flooding Leaves a Toxic Legacy: Pollution in Gulf of Mexico.” Christian Science Monitor  7 Sept. 1993: 1.

Schleifstein, Mark. “Farms Blamed For Damage To Gulf Food Chain.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)  6 May, 1994: B1.

Mcquaid, John. “Bold New 'Chaos Theory' Says Fishery Experts Way Off Track.”  Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)  31 March 1996: A15.

Ballingrud, David. “Farm belt sowing seeds of bitter harvest in gulf.” St. Petersburg Times (Florida) 5 Jan. 1997: 1B.  

“U.S. agriculture's environmental practices.” The Kiplinger Agriculture Letter 12 Sept. 1997: Vol. 68; No. 19.

Schleifstein, Mark. “Fertilizer, sewage brew dead zone.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)  25 March, 1996. PART OF PULITZER-WINNING SERIES: (see also graphics at site)

Yoon, Carol Kaesuk. “A 'Dead Zone' Grows in the Gulf of Mexico.” New York Times  20 Jan. 1998: F1.

Malakoff, David.  “Death by Suffocation in the Gulf of Mexico.” Science.  281 (1998): 190-92.

Warrick, Joby. “Death in the Gulf of Mexico,” National Wildlife 37(4), June/July 1999, p. 48.

Joyce, Stephanie. “The Dead Zones: Oxygen-Starved Coastal Waters.” Environ. Health Perspect. 2000 Mar; 108(3):A120-5.

Ferber, Dan. “Keeping the Stygian Waters at Bay.” Science (2001); 291: 968-973.

Nierenberg, Danielle. "Toxic Fertility," WorldWatch Magazine March - April 2001: 30-38.

Knudsen, Natalie. “Water-Quality Sleuths: Corn Growers Commit to Nitrogen Research.” Soybean Digest  15 March 2001.

 “The Dead Zone.” The Economist  August 24, 2002: U.S. Edition.

Wilde, Matthew. “Farmers Try to Improve Public Image on Environmental Issues.” Waterloo Courier  17 March 2003.

Mississippi Dead Zone. 10 Aug. 2004. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 1 Nov. 2004

Fumento, Michael. “The ‘Dead Zone’ Fish Story.” Tech Central Station 16 Aug. 2004

Schleifstein, Mark. “Farmers Find Fuel in Dead Zone Study; Nitrogen Not the Only Culprit in the Gulf.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)  31 Aug. 2004: A1.

Clement, Matthew T. “Corporate farms just create shark bait.” The Daily Cougar

16 Sept. 2004.

Giberson, Tony. “Storms may have helped disperse Gulf 'dead zone'.” Pensacola News Journal 4 Oct. 2004.

Return to Case Studies

Return to E&ESJ Home Page