Colorado’s waterways play an important role in our communities. They provide ecosystem benefits, habitat areas for fish and wildlife, and water for recreation, agriculture, industry and personal use.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the Gulf of Mexico’s annual summer dead zone – a low-oxygen area which can cause mass death of marine life – will grow over 40% this year compared to last summer, approaching the size of Massachusetts.
The effects of this year’s dead zone on the local economy already are becoming apparent. According to Nancy Rabalais, a Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) marine ecologist and expert on the Gulf dead zone, fishing has slowed to a crawl in the region.