Thursday, July 24, 2008

Researcher says Gulf dead zone bigger than ever

HOUSTON - A "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas-Louisiana coast this year is likely to be the biggest ever and last longer than ever before, with marine life affected for hundreds of miles, a scientist warned.

"It's definitely the worst we've seen in the last five years," said Steve DiMarco, a Texas A&M University professor of oceanography who for 16 years has studied the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, so named because the oxygen-depleted water can kill marine life.

NVDL: The dead zone is caused by nutrient pollution - fertilizers running off from farms, flowing into rivers and emptying into the sea.

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