A&M researchers find dead zone off islandBy Bronwyn Turner
July 4, 2009; The Daily News
The Daily News
Published July 4, 2009
The size and impact of the zone has not yet been measured, but the low oxygen levels of the area spell danger for marine life. The pocket of water is south of
“It has the potential to harm the fishing and harm the shrimping off of
DiMarco, who has studied the
“From my point of view, I want to know how much of this is a naturally occurring event versus how much of this is man-driven, and if it’s man-driven, what can we do about it,” he said in a telephone interview.
Dead zones are defined as areas in the
The cause can be natural; two years ago, a strong flood from the
The new monitoring system will help chart the details of dead zones off the coast of
This is the state’s first water quality monitoring system to provide hourly updates on water temperature, salinity, oxygen, waves and other information. Data from the platform is sent to
“This is really exciting because we now have a tool out there to answer some of the serious questions about how often this occurs, how long does it last, how bad does it get and how low does the oxygen go,” DiMarco said. “These are the questions that I really, really want to get to and try to tease out and make the environment a better place.”
• The new monitoring system is a collaboration of Wind Energy Systems Technology Inc. of New Iberia, La., Texas General Land Office, Texas Sea Grant College Program, Texas A&M and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
• The data from the new system will be publicly available through the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Data Portal, http://tabs.gerg.tamu.edu/hypox.
• One of the largest dead zones ever recorded, estimated between 8,500 to 9,600 square miles, or about the size of