Protect the Gulf of Mexico from Agricultural Pollution

Target: Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Regulate agricultural runoff released into the Mississippi River.

Runoff of certain nutrients from farms along the Mississippi River is drastically changing the oxygen content of the water. Without sufficient oxygen, the water becomes uninhabitable for aquatic life in the lower part of the river and for a large area near the mouth of river in the Gulf of Mexico. The Environmental Protection Agency needs to instate standards to control the levels of harmful nutrients in the river.

The Mississipi River spans almost 2,5oo miles, beginning in Minnesota and running all the way down the country until it lets out into the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, the river that runs through America’s heartland is being flooded with nitrogen and phosphorus from the farms that line the river. When too much nitrogen and phosphorus enter the river, rapid growth of algae ensues. These algae utilize all the available oxygen, making the river unlivable and the water that spills into the Gulf of Mexico uninhabitable. In order for the ecosystem to be restored to normal, the EPA must control the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water.

The pollution in the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico has created an unlivable area of water approximately the size of Connecticut. This dead zone has pushed fish farther out to sea, costing the fishing industry about $2.8 billion dollars per year. Obviously, the nutrient run off from the northern part of the Mississippi needs to be controlled by the EPA in order to improve the economy, restore fish populations, and renew the ocean’s ecosystem.


Dear Environmental Protection Agency,

The Mississippi River has been increasingly spitting pollutants into the Gulf of Mexico for the last three decades. Farms along the river seep nitrogen and phosphorus into the water, overstimulating the algae population and in turn causing the de-oxygenation of the water. This pollution has made the area at the mouth of the river in the Gulf of Mexico a “dead zone” where no marine life can survive. I strongly suggest that you implement some sort of control on the northern farms so the ecosystem can be revived.

This dead zone costs the fishing industry almost $3 billion per year by pushing the fish farther out and requiring higher transportation costs to reach them. The loss of fish in these areas of the ocean has been a very expensive loss indeed, and the area is only going to grow unless you do something to stop it. You must install regulations to prevent nitrogen and phosphorus from flowing into the river, to improve the economy and save the ocean’s ecosystem.


[Your Name Here]

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