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Nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers, as well as pesticides have fouled many streams which drain our nation’s farmlands. Nowhere is this more evident than in California’s Salinas Valley. Known as “the salad bowl of America,” some 60 percent of the nation’s lettuce is grown there. With a climate that allows as many as three crops to be grown on the same land in a single year, the use of fertilizers, to replenish soil sapped of its nutrients, is prodigious. In turn, this has led to toxic waterways, as well as some groundwater, all the way into the Monterey Bay. Now scientists are fighting this toxic stew with a simple, natural weapon: wetlands. Although much research remains to be done to maximize the benefit, and much political and economic wrangling to implement a widespread and effective solution, the results so far are promising. Al Jazeera America has more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/12/25/kale-and-hearty-thesaladbowlofamericaturnstoxic.html

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