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New Jersey-Size ‘Dead Zone’ Is Largest Ever in Gulf of Mexico

Heavy stream flows in May carrying higher-than-average “nutrients” into the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for the largest dead zone ever recorded in the Gulf, National Geographic reports. The pollutants stimulate algae which grow and deplete oxygen from the water, killing fish and other marine life, thus creating the “dead zone.” The primary culprits are agricultural products — nitrates and phosphorous — that wash into the streams and rivers flowing into the Gulf. Scientists pointed out there are alternative ways to farm that don’t pollute waterways like this.

Those alternative methods are known as sustainable agriculture, and despite what proponents of chemical-laden, genetically-engineered crops claim, this type of agriculture can feed the world. Modern-day food practices are reliant on a series of unsustainable methods — including fossil fuels and chemical-dependent genetically engineered (GE) organisms — that pollute Earth's valuable resources such as our air, soil and water, as well as damage public health.

Organic and regenerative agriculture involves holistic land management practices that improve soil health, biodiversity and water scarcity, while also mitigating the effects of climate change. Using regenerative land management that incorporates livestock, you can increase organic matter in the soil back to healthy levels within a couple of decades.

Moving toward a system where 100 percent of food is produced using organic
and regenerative agriculture practices is imperative for regenerating our planet's precious resources, on which human survival depends.

A common misconception is that regenerative and organic farming cannot be done on a large scale — but it most certainly can. A farmer I know, Will Harris, had 700 heads of cattle on his farm while he farmed conventionally. But once he switched to regenerative agriculture, his land now supports 100,000 individual animals of several species, and this is made possible because they support rather than compete with each other for limited resources. And it’s not polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
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