Escape Into Nature On Your Next Trip (or Close to Home)

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Time away from the daily grind helps to keep us sane and motivated, and nothing rejuvenates our inner batteries like the peaceful experience of being fully immersed in nature.

Unfortunately, for city dwellers in particular, that can be a difficult outlet to find. Granted, watching a squirrel bury nuts for the winter or a beetle making its way across the bark of a tree can be a calming experience, possible in a backyard or in the midst of a city park. But just as Thoreau removed himself completely to Walden Pond to truly surround himself within the natural world, there’s something to be said for getting away from civilization altogether….

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2010 Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Among Largest Ever, Scientists Say

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The delicate ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico was wounded long before Katrina stormed ashore, and her wildlife was poisoned by chemicals streaming down the Mississippi River long before BP stirred a few million gallons of crude into her waters. The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) has been monitoring hypoxia — lack of oxygen — in the Gulf waters since 1985. Much of this hypoxia is caused by agricultural chemicals and farm animal waste products that flow into the Mississippi from 19 states to the north. (Iowa alone is estimated to be responsible for 25% of the farm chemicals and fecal matter pouring into the Gulf.) Efforts are underway to reduce the agricultural pollution that is contributing heavily to the Dead Zone, but more must be done to make a positive impact on the area.

Yesterday, Blue Planet Green Living received an email from Dr. Nancy Rabalais, Executive Director of LUMCON, with the group’s latest report. The following information is reprinted from “2010 DEAD ZONE – ONE OF THE LARGEST EVER,” dated 1 August 2010, from Cocodrie, Louisiana….

“The area of hypoxia, or low oxygen, in the northern Gulf of Mexico west of the Mississippi River delta covered 20,000 square kilometers (7,722 square miles) of the bottom and extended far into Texas waters. The relative size is almost that of Massachusetts. The critical value that defines hypoxia is 2 mg/L, or ppm, because trawlers cannot catch fish or shrimp on the bottom when oxygen falls lower….”

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