Above-Average Dead Zone Covers 5,840 Sq. Miles Along Louisiana Coast

"The Dead Zone, an area of oxygen so low that Gulf-bottom organisms are killed and fish and crabs swim away, covered 5,840 square miles of Gulf of Mexico seafloor along Louisiana's coastline this summer, according to a survey by scientists based at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium."

"That's more than twice the measured area in 2012, and greater than the average size of the low-oxygen areas during the past five years, according to a news release by lead scientist Nancy Rabalais, who also is director of LUMCON.

The very low oxygen levels, called hypoxia, kill organisms that live in bottom sediment and cannot swim away, and dramatically reduce the amount of habitat available for shrimp and a variety of commercial and recreational fish species, including red drum, red snapper and croaker."

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune July 29, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Gulf 'Dead Zone' Above Average But Not Near Record" (AP)

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 07/30/2013