Another Black Eye for Corn-Based Ethanol

Michael Giberson

A surge in the demand for ethanol — touted as a greener alternative to gasoline — could have a serious environmental downside for the Chesapeake Bay, because more farmers growing corn could mean more pollution washing off farm fields, a new study warned yesterday.

A Washington Post story on the study paints a not so pretty picture: farms growing corn tend to produce more run off of excess fertilizer, which leads to algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay, the unnaturally large algae blooms “consume the oxygen that fish, crabs and other creatures need to breathe, creating the Chesapeake’s infamous dead zones.”

The report and additional information is available from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the USDA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Program.

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