Ocean Conservancy: What is Going on in the Gulf

Here are 6 things you need to know about the environmental disaster affecting the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s an underwater disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico right now that’s affecting Gulf Coast wildlife, fishermen and economies. We’ve broken it down here with six things you need to know.

1. Lots of rain in the Midwest means lots of freshwater entering the Gulf of Mexico

The heavy rains that hit the Midwest this spring caused widespread flood damage and crop loss in the region. Now that huge amount of water has moved down the Mississippi River toward the Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened a spillway on the river to prevent flooding in areas like New Orleans. Having this spillway open for an unprecedented amount to time, along with extremely high river levels, has resulted in an excessive amount of freshwater entering into the Gulf.

To add insult to injury, Hurricane Barry brought more rainfall that could ultimately make a bad situation worse. Thankfully the storm dropped less rain than expected, but it’s only the first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. Future storms could continue to bring more freshwater into the Gulf.

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