Dead zone second-largest on record

July, 29, 2008

Effects from Hurricane Dolly led to this summer’s dead zone becoming the second-largest one on record, a scientist said today.
The dead zone is 8,000 square miles, which is the size of Massachusetts, said scientist Nancy Rabalais, who is the executive professor of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. A dead zone is created by runoff from the Mississippi River resulting in low oxygen amounts for underwater wildlife.
Rabalais said the dead zone had the potential to be the largest recorded but activity from Hurricane Dolly, which was in the Gulf of Mexico last week, condensed the zone.
"A hurricane will mix it up and alleviate the problem for a while," she said of the dead zone. "Hurricanes will break it down but (the dead zone) will reform."