2018 Shelfwide Cruise – Completed

The bottom area of low oxygen in Louisiana coastal waters west of the Mississippi River, commonly known as the ‘Dead Zone,’ was mapped at a smaller-than-average size this summer. The area was 2,720 square miles (7,040 square kilometers), slightly larger than the state of Delaware and well below the projected estimate of 6,570 square miles (17,000 square kilometers). Click here for the full Press Release.

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Cruise Dedication

The 2018 shelf-wide cruise to determine the extent of low oxygen bottom waters on the Louisiana-Texas continental shelf is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Wesley J. Tunnell, Jr. who passed away on Saturday, July 14, 2018, after a long successful and not successful battle with cancer.

Click here for more information.

What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia, or low oxygen, is an environmental phenomenon where the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water column decreases to a level that can no longer support living aquatic organisms. Hypoxic areas, or “Dead Zones,” have increased in duration and frequency across our planet’s oceans since first being noted in the 1970s.

The largest hypoxic zone currently affecting the United States, and the second largest hypoxic zone worldwide, is the northern Gulf of Mexico adjacent to the Mississippi River.

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Gulf hypoxia in the news:

TREADING WATER | Unfocused and underfunded, goal of cleaner water falters

December 3rd, 2018|Comments Off on TREADING WATER | Unfocused and underfunded, goal of cleaner water falters

Erin Jordan / The Gazette 3 December 2018 Chapter 1: America’s Midwest faces worsening trouble with undrinkable well water, recreational lakes choked with toxic algae and water treatment plants requiring budget-busting upgrades to remove pollution [...]

  • Tommy Olander Jr. on Aug. 9 drives his family's shrimping boat in Vermillion Bay off the Louisiana coast near Jeanerette. Vermillion Bay, inland of the oxygen-deprived “dead zone,” was expected soon to be full of shrimp boats for the opening of the fall season as trawlers compete in the same inland waters for a shrinking pool of shrimp. (Photo by John Steppe)

‘Dead zone’ worsens troubles for Louisiana shrimpers

December 2nd, 2018|Comments Off on ‘Dead zone’ worsens troubles for Louisiana shrimpers

Erin Jordan / The Gazette2 December 2018 'They need to say it's against the law to pollute downstream' Tommy Olander Jr. on Aug. 9 drives his family's shrimping boat in Vermillion Bay off the Louisiana [...]

  • Interactive: Max Freund, The Gazette

Interactive: The Gulf Dead Zone Through the Years

December 2nd, 2018|Comments Off on Interactive: The Gulf Dead Zone Through the Years

Max Freund / The Gazette 2 December 2018 The hypoxic, or low-oxygen, mass of water in Louisiana coastal waters west of the Mississippi River is often called the dead zone because fish, shrimp and other [...]

Guest column: La. can learn from red tide

October 8th, 2018|Comments Off on Guest column: La. can learn from red tide

Matt Rota / The Advocate 8 October 2018 There is an environmental crisis in Florida right now. The red tide has spread to the Atlantic coast, and it’s affecting some of the most popular beaches [...]

  • It’s not easy to push an alligator around, but hurricanes have been known to move them miles from home. Shown here is a resident of Everglades National Park, Florida. Photograph by Keith Ladzinski, National Geographic Creative

The Strangest Deep-Sea Creatures Washed Ashore by Hurricanes

September 21st, 2018|Comments Off on The Strangest Deep-Sea Creatures Washed Ashore by Hurricanes

It’s not easy to push an alligator around, but hurricanes have been known to move them miles from home. Shown here is a resident of Everglades National Park, Florida. Photograph by Keith Ladzinski, National [...]