20 U.S. States, Canada and Mexico Have Dead Zones

September 3, 2008

The Gulf waters off of Louisiana aren't the only US area burdened by a "dead zone." There are similar, smaller areas with short- or long-term oxygen depletion off the shores of 20 states, as well as Canada and Mexico. The states include AL, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, LA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OR, SC, TX, VA, and WA.

This new compilation, by Virginia Institute of Marine Science Professor Robert Diaz and Rutger Rosenberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, was published in the journal Science on Aug. 15, 2008.

  • "Spreading Dead Zones and Consequences for Marine Ecosystems," Abstract. For a copy of the study and accompanying list of problem areas in the US and around the globe, contact Diaz, 804-684-7364.

Globally, the number of dead zones continues to rise sharply, possibly due to both better surveillance and increasing occurrence. Nonetheless, as the map in the study illustrates, large areas of the globe don't have any of the 405 documented dead zones, suggesting that this may be due merely to lack of good information, not pristine waters.

For much more information, search the TipSheet archives for "dead zone."