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February 27, 2014

A Refresher Course: Water Pollution Facts

You probably realize that water pollution is a major issue, but how much do you really know about it? Here are some eye-opening water pollution facts:

According to Water Benefits Health, Americans use more than 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides each year, many of which contain nitrogen and phosphorus. Residue from these pesticides eventually washes into rivers and lakes. More than two-thirds of the bays and estuaries in the United States are affected by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.

Photo by dancingelf (deviantART).

More than 40% of American rivers are too polluted for recreational fishing or swimming. That number is even higher for lakes: 46%+.

The Mississippi River is said to carry as much as 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen into the Gulf of Mexico annually. This has resulted in a “dead zone” along the Gulf Coast that is devoid of aquatic life during the summer months. This dead zone spans more than 21,000 square miles along the coast of Louisiana and Texas, and is bigger overall than the entire state of New Jersey.

Photo via TakePart.

TakePart lists the Mississippi River as one of the 11 most polluted rivers in the entire world. According to this website, the massive amount of pollutants in the river coupled with sludge from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cause an algal bloom upon reaching the ocean, not to mention that it makes the river unsafe to swim in.

More needs to be done to protect America’s watersheds. Humans, plants, and animals depend on plenty of clean, fresh water for their health and livelihood. Browsing on Creeklife is a good place to start.

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