Aspects of water pollution in the coastal area of the Gulf of Mexico




Division of Water Pollution and Shellfish Branch

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


The data upon which this report is based relate principally to sources of pollution lying within 50 miles of the Gulf. Pollution sources lying outside this zone are considered only if they are particularly significant by virtue of their specific quality or quantity. The land area so defined includes parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. For purposes of this report the Gulf coast from Key West to the Rio Grande has been divided into 23 separate drainage areas. Localized pollution damages of some kind or other occur in most of these areas. Almost one-half of them, representing waters of each of the Gulf states, have shellfish areas that are closed to commercial fishing because of pollution. A number of otherwise popular bathing beaches located in at least seven different areas have been made unfit for use. Outright destruction of fish and impairment of sport fishing waters have occurred locally at many points along the coast. Nuisance conditions, losses in property values, effects of sediment deposition, and other more subtle changes that accompany pollution contribute to the total damages.


pgs. 555-575


pollution, pollution effects