Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story (20130036)

Technology No. 20130036

Fertilizer Runoff Contributes to Dead Zones

Troubled Waters is a documentary that delves into the issues of water pollution in the Mississippi River, Lake Pepin, the gulf coast, as well as other bodies of water along the Mississippi River caused from fertilizer runoff. Nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the Mississippi River have increased which has resulted in sediments rich in nitrogen to end up in the gulf coast. These sediments are contributing to massive “dead zones” where marine life is not able to exist, effectively driving out living organisms. All of this is being caused by the fertilizer runoff, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, from farms all along the river and other bodies of water that feed into it. Troubled Waters presents this information to capture the eye of the public as well as hope to inspire change in how agriculture is undertaken.

Farm Pollution Initiatives

The American Midwest boasts some of the world’s most productive farmland, but this bounty comes with a price. Farm pollution in the form of excess nitrogen and phosphorous, fertilizers essential to the growth of plants, are contaminating the nation’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers at the same time as precious soils wash away. Farmers, scientists, and citizens are seeking solutions that help meet the goals of an ambitious, food-producing nation while ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of its most precious natural resources. Troubled Waters tells the story of changes on the land, and the initiatives people are taking to ensure a more sustainable food and production system.

The Troubled Waters video has been exclusively licensed to the Video Project and will be available from their website in fall of 2013.

Barbara Coffin

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