Entrepreneurs Wade Into the "Dead Zone"

Every spring, fertilizer runoff from the U.S. Mississippi River floods into the Gulf of Mexico, causing a massive algae bloom that leads to a giant oxygen-deprived “dead zone” where fish can’t survive.

Now, this annual problem is getting new attention, not from marine scientists but from entrepreneurs looking for a new domestic source of fuel. And one start-up sees fish themselves being part of the process.

The algae blooms are spawned each year as the farmland runoff from as far away as Montana flows into rivers, eventually reaching the Mississippi and flowing into Louisiana bayous and out into the Gulf of Mexico.

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