Thunder cloud running
To a different place now
Rainbow chasing him

Unknown Native American

We humans can’t “destroy” the Earth, no matter how hard we may try.   How we use its resources cause changes, some organisms adopt, others don’t and become extinct.  The issue is that we don’t create an environment where we become one of the extinct.  We can make the world either better for our survival, or worse.  It is most likely future generations that will pay the biggest price for our mistakes.

Dead Zones

Underwater video frame of the sea floor in the Western Baltic covered with dead or dying crabs, fish and clams killed by oxygen depletion

Dead zones are low-oxygen areas in the world’s oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noticing them in the 1970s. These occur near inhabited coastlines, where aquatic life is most concentrated. They can be as small as a quarter-mile, the largest covered 27,000 square miles.  Between 2003 and 2008 the number of dead zones tripled, from 146 to 405.  That number is still growing.

There are several conditions that can create a “dead zone”.  Man made pollution flowing into lakes and ocean is certainly one of them.

The good news is that dead zones are reversible.  The Black Sea dead zone, previously the largest dead zone in the world, largely disappeared between 1991 and 2001 after fertilizers became too costly to use following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Fishing has again become a major economic activity in the region.

From 1985 to 2000, the North Sea dead zone had nitrogen reduced by 37% when policy efforts by countries on the Rine River reduced sewage and industrial emissions of nitrogen into the water. Other cleanups have taken place along the Hudson River in NY and California’s San Francisco Bay.

Ecology isn’t some “earth-mother” “hippy” slogan, it’s survival, our great- grandchildren’s.