Map Identifies, Targets Problem Locations
Harmful algal blooms (HAB) can harm the health of the environment, plants, and animals by depleting oxygen from water and blocking the sunlight that other marine organisms need to live. Some HAB also release toxins that can be dangerous to animals and humans. NIFA’s support of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) helps track how airborne nitrogen is deposited in the United States and how it affects the environment. NADP maps indicate how nitrogen deposition in the United States can enter the Mississippi River, travel south, and threaten aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico. A 5,300-square-mile hypoxic “dead zone” in the Gulf is an example of the danger caused by too much nitrogen. The map gives policymakers, scientists, and others a clear view of nitrogen hot spots so they can develop and implement plans of action to reduce hypoxia and the size of the hypoxic zone.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2016 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.