Dead Zones and Toxic Algae Bloom in US Waters


  • Shubh Mathur Independent scholar


Dead zones in US coastal waters, rivers and lakes are due to the paradoxical oversupply of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which wash into water bodies from farms and residential lawns. The nutrient pollution produces algae blooms on the surface, while under the algae blooms the water is depleted of oxygen, creating anoxic or dead zones where plant and animal life are unsustainable. Some algae blooms are toxic, like the one in Lake Erie which shut down the water supply in Toledo, OH, in 2014.

Author Biography

Shubh Mathur, Independent scholar

Shubh Mathur is an anthropologist whose work is concerned with human rights, nations, borders, violence, sovereignty and environmental ethics. She has published numerous articles and two books, The Everyday Life of Hindu Nationalism (Three Essays Collective Press) and The Human Toll of the Kashmir Conflict: Grief and Courage in a South Asian Borderland (Palgrave Macmillan). She believes that the notion of sovereignty as unchecked power links political violence with environmental devastation: the way we treat the natural world is a reflection of the way we treat each other.