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Commotion in the Ocean

“over 40% of the world’s oceans are heavily affected by human activities and few if any areas remain untouched”


“the livestock sector is the major driver of increasing water pollution in most geographical areas”

nitrogen inputs to the Mississippi River Basin
“Industrial-scale farms in the U.S. produce over 335 million tons of manure per year, directly contributing over 3 million tons of nitrogen to the Mississippi River in the year 2000… According to the FAO, one-third of total arable land worldwide is dedicated to feedcrop production to support livestock. This means that a substantial portion of fertilizers applied to farmland are in actuality supporting livestock production.”

“The Gulf of Mexico may just be a glimpse into the future of coastal waters around the world. Already, dead zones have been identified across the globe, from the Scandinavian fjords to the South China Sea to the U.S.’s Chesapeake Bay.”

2007_forecast_map“There is broad agreement that the Chesapeake Bay is an ecosystem in serious peril… Animal manure is largest source of agricultural pollution, the single biggest source of nitrogen and phosphorous applied to the land, and the second biggest source of nitrogen that enters the Bay.

“Virginia’s Rockingham County, Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, and the Delmarva Peninsula – together generate 54 percent of the nitrogen from manure in the watershed, even though they constitute only 23 percent of the land area…. Rockingham County is the nation’s largest turkey producer… Lancaster County, a major milk and dairy producer, has the second highest agricultural production of any county east of the Mississippi….The Delmarva Peninsula, which consists of Delaware and the Eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia, is one of the top chicken producing regions in the nation.”

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