The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't gone away and likely won't until regulations are enacted to curtail farm field runoff of nitrogen fertilizer, says Matt Rota, the senior policy director for the Gulf Restoration Network, based in New Orleans.

Moves toward such regulation, though, are sure to be opposed by farm interests, so this will be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future among all stakeholders in the entire Mississippi River drainage basin, he added.

Rota will be the keynote speaker Thursday for the three-day Mississippi River Conference at Stoney Creek Inn, Moline.

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