Transforming old oil rigs into seaweed farms could resurrect “dead zones” in the ocean

As Big Agriculture continues to dump fertilizer and other cattle ranch runoff into the Gulf of Mexico, our aquatic systems suffer. Algal blooms wind up flourishing, killing fish and shellfish alike while causing eye and respiratory illnesses in humans. In addition, the dumping of this pollution into the Gulf of Mexico creates “dead zones,” or areas of the ocean where the oxygen is so low that life struggles to survive. Like so many other problems, the pollution in the Gulf of Mexico seems at times to be insoluble. A recent report found that while the dead zone there seems to be shrinking, it’s still about the size of Yellowstone National Park, roughly 3,058 square miles.