An algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in an oxygen-starved area the size of Massachusetts. Part of the problem is sewage runoff flowing south from Chicago.
Tony Briscoe reports that a giant algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico is being fed by agricultural and urban runoff from the Midwest flowing into the Mississippi River. "While the agricultural runoff from farms — exempted under the Clean Water Act — is the main driver of the Gulf dead zone, Chicago’s sewage is the largest single source of phosphorus pollution."
Heavy rains are flushing more nitrogen from fertilizer and phosphorous from sewage into the river, and the resulting dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is killing off fish and shrimp populations. But dead zones are also a problem in the Great Lakes, with large algae blooms in Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, reports Briscoe.
Environmental groups want to see less water pollution coming out of Chicago, and they are also working to curb agricultural runoff. "In collaboration with the agricultural industry, the [Natural Resources Defense Council] pushed to incentivize the use of cover crops, plants like cereal rye that soak up water and nutrients during the off-season," writes Briscoe.
Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects
Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.
Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’
A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?
Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing
A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.
Report: Bike Lanes Can't Make up for New Roads
If California wants to meet its climate goals, the state must stop funding its myriad road construction and expansion projects.
Minneapolis Affordable Housing Project Largest in 20 Years
The city opened its first large multifamily affordable housing complex in decades, but a recent court ruling against the Minneapolis 2040 rezoning plan could jeopardize future projects.
NYC Mayor Proposes Eliminating Parking Minimums
Mayor Adams wants to stop requiring off-site parking for new buildings to reduce the costs of construction as part of the ‘City of Yes’ package of zoning reforms.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Mpact: Mobility, Community, Possibility
Lassen County Planning and Building Services
City of San Carlos
National Capital Planning Commission
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.