'Dead Zone' Size of Connecticut Expected Off La. Coast: Scientists

"The size of the annual summer "dead zone" of low-oxygen water in the Gulf of Mexico along Louisiana's coast will cover between 4,633 and 5,708 miles, about the size of the state of Connecticut, according to a Tuesday forecast announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That's about average for the size of the low-oxygen area since 1985, but still a significant concern, scientists say. And the prediction means another year when states along the Mississippi River have failed to sufficiently reduce the nutrients that cause the dead zone, as called for in a 6-year-old federal-state dead zone reduction plan.

The dead zone moniker is used to describe water that scientists label as hypoxic, meaning it has oxygen levels below 2 parts per million, or anoxic, meaning it contains no oxygen."

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune June 24, 2014.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 06/26/2014