Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico getting bigger

By WLOX Editorial, WLOX, ABC 13
22 June 2011

There was a story reported this week that should be alarming to all of us here along the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists say the dead zone in the Northern Gulf this year will be the largest ever.

This is an area where oxygen depleted water makes it hard for any sea life to survive. It is created by all the rich nutrients that come down the Mississippi River and cause microscopic plants like algae to bloom and when they die and decay they consume the oxygen in the water.

The record flood on the Mississippi River is believed to be causing the increase this year. So far most of the dead zone is located off of the mouth of the Mississippi River stretching toward the western Louisiana and Texas shore line. However, what is to keep the dead zone from moving more into our part of the Gulf?

The good news is that the dead zone can be reversed. But to do so we must have the help of the folks who live up river where fertilizer run offs are allowed to flow into the Mississippi River.

We urge our congressional delegation along with Louisiana’s to take action and create laws to regulate waste runoff. Residents along the Mississippi should also be educated about the effect of their runoffs.

If nothing is done, the dead zone will most likely continue to grow and one day our local fishermen and shrimpers will have to travel miles before they will ever be able to catch the first shrimp or fish.

That’s our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV General Manager

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