With record breaking flood levels, floodplains are unable to properly filter pollutants, like fertilizer, from entering into streams and rivers. Along the Mississippi River most of the land is farmland, and because there are more fields in this watershed area, excess fertilizer loaded with nitrogen makes its way into rivers and streams. This happens when water travels through the watershed areas and gathers in a floodplain. When this area is flooded, the water comes up on shore, and when the waters recede, the pollutants and sediment from soil erosion flow into the river. Once the nitrogen from the fertilizer enters the river, it stimulates plant growth. When there is too much plant growth, a river can be a very unhealthy place. Plants that grow and thrive, like algae, are usually in the upper levels of the river. Because an increase in algae growth occurs with the increase of nitrogen levels, it chang...
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University of Michigan (2011, June 14). Record Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' predicted due to Mississippi River flooding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com-/releases/2011/06/110615091057.htm.
University of Virginia (2008, May 18). Excessive reactive nitrogen in environment alarms environmental scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2008/05/080515145419.htm.
Watts, A. (2011, July 6). Widespread flood threat to continue through summer. NOAA-NWS. Retrieved from http://www.worldweatherpost.com/2011/07/06/noaa-%E2%80%93-nws- on-continuing-midwest-flood-risks/.
World Resources Institute. (2011, January 20). New web-based map tracks marine “dead zones” worldwide. Retrieved from http://www.wri.org/press/2011/01/new-web-based-map- tracks-marine-dead-zones-worldwide.
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