|Definition :||The Dead Zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where no plant or animals are able to live because there is little or no oxygen in the water.|
The size of the Dead Zone changes, but has been as large as the State of New Jersey.|
Farm runoff is thought to be the main cause of the Dead Zone. Fertilizers travel through farmland, make their way into the Mississippi River, and end up in the Gulf of Mexico. Once there, the fertilizers encourage algae growth. The algae use up all of the oxygen in the water. Once the oxygen in the water is gone, everything that can't swim away dies.