New Interactive Map Tracks Ocean Dead Zones

dead zone map image

Image via WRI

Just under a year ago, NASA released a map of marine dead zones. It helped us visualize the extent to which low-oxygen areas are harming ocean ecosystems. Now, there's an even better tool -- an interactive map from World Resources Institute.The World Resources Institute has announced that new research from WRI and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) identifies over 530 dead zones and an additional 228 sites worldwide exhibiting signs of marine "eutrophication" -- or over-fertilized areas due to agricultural run-off. These areas and the information about them have all been put on a map that allows users to see what is happening where, including access to photos, articles and other information.

"Until now, a lack of information and monitoring has been a major impediment to understanding the extent and impacts of 'dead zones' and eutrophication in coastal ecosystems," said Mindy Selman, senior water quality analyst at WRI, in a press release. "This website is an important step forward because it compiles the current information into a central location to raise awareness and offer solutions for controlling nutrient pollution."

The website is fascinating -- you can zoom in to areas of interest, and learn more about what is happening near home:

dead zone map image

It also allows commenting, so you can provide information and feedback for the site. A tool like this can go a long way in classrooms and at home to educate people on exactly what dead zones are, how they're caused, and what they mean for wildlife.

Here's a quick video on eutrophication from SUNY via WRI:

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