Dead Zone Forming in the Gulf of Mexico

By Curious

Experts are worried for the process of formation of large "dead" zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Researches of Texas A&M University confirm that the situation is not good.

Steve DiMarco, professor of oceanography and a leading world expert found that there are large zones of oxygen-depleted water.
He explained: "The most intense area is where you would expect it -- off the Louisiana coast south of Atchafalaya Bay and Grande Isle, La. But we also found significant amounts off High Island and near Galveston. The farther south we went, the less we found hypoxia in the water column, but we still found plenty of depleted oxygen waters up to just west of Freeport."
"There is no doubt there is a lot of hypoxia in the Gulf this year."

Hypoxia - deprived of adequate oxygen supply. When oxygen levels in seawater are low this threatens the marine life.
The formation of this "dead" zone is believed to be a result by nutrient pollution from farm fertilizers as they empty into rivers such as the Mississippi and eventually into the Gulf, or by soil erosion or discharge from sewage treatment plants.

This year the "dead" zone is larger than the last year.

DiMarco informs that the size of the "dead" zone off coastal Louisiana has been routinely monitored since 1985. Previous research has also shown that nitrogen levels in the Gulf related to human activities have tripled over the past 50 years.