Two articles in the Huffington Post in June report some alarming developments in the state of the oceans and the Gulf of Mexico.
In an article on June 20, reporter Travis Donovan summarized the findings of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean.
His lead read,” If the current actions contributing to a multifaceted degradation of the world’s oceans aren’t curbed, a mass extinction unlike anything human history has ever seen is coming, an expert panel of scientists warns in an alarming new report.”
In the article, he provided a link to an IPSO workshop during which the preliminary findings of the study were presented. The study said:
“…  we have underestimated the overall risks and that the whole of marine degradation is greater than the sum of its parts, and that degradation is now happening at a faster rate than predicted.”
And in a section headlined, “Ecosystem collapse is occurring as a result of both current and emerging stressors,” the study said, ”Stressors include chemical pollutants, agriculture run‐off, sediment loads and over‐extraction of many components of food webs which singly and together severely impair the functioning of ecosystems.”
   Here’s a link to the Huffington News report

And here’s a link to the actual study

Another Huffington Post article on June 14 reported that federal  and university scientists “predict this year’s ‘dead zone’ of low-oxygen water in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be the largest in history – about the size of Lake Erie – because of more runoff from the flooded Mississippi River valley.
“Each year when the nutrient-rich freshwater from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers pours into the Gulf, it spawns massive algae blooms. In turn, the algae consume the oxygen in the Gulf, creating the low oxygen conditions. Fish, shrimp and many other species must escape the dead zone or face dying.
“The biggest contributor is the amount of fertilizer – and the nitrates and phosphates in them – that wind up in the Mississippi River each spring and get flushed out to the Gulf.”
Here’s a link to that story

As we in WATR know, the water from the Tuckasegee watershed flows into the Little Tennessee, which flows into the Tennessee, which flows into the Ohio, which flows into the Mississippi and down to the Gulf.
The waters of the Tuckasegee make up but a miniscule portion of the water that comprises “The Mighty Mississippi.”
But our efforts to provide the best possible water for this system are just as important as the efforts in any watershed if we are to reverse the alarming findings of these reports.

Bill Lee