Gulf Hypoxia Mapping and Research Funding at Risk

By Lower Mississippi River Sub-basin Committee on Hypoxia
December 18, 2007

Baton Rouge – The federal funding of two critical programs for the mapping and study of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico is at risk.
Programs at Louisiana State University (LSU) and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) have mapped the spread of hypoxia off the Louisiana continental shelf since 1990, and provided models for understanding how nutrient loading from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers influences the spread of hypoxia, a condition of low oxygen in the water column that can extinguish marine life.
"These programs are our key tools for understanding hypoxia in the Gulf," said Doug Daigle, Coordinator for the Lower Mississippi River Sub-basin Committee on Hypoxia. "Losing the programs that map and model this problem – or losing the greater part of their federal funding – will be a serious setback for the national effort to deal with the Gulf Hypoxic Zone."
The LSU and LUMCON programs have been funded througn competitive grants through the National Ocean Service and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science under the Harmful Algal Blool and Hypoxia Research and Control Act. Their funding comes in the President’s Budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under an "Extramural Budget Line" that also funds hypoxia research in Texas, the other state affected by the Gulf "Dead Zone." (For more information, go to the website
"The 2007 Hypoxic zone was the third largest measured, and spread well into Texas’ coastal waters," said Daigle. "The spread of hypoxia in the Gulf threatens some of the nation’s richest commercial and recreational fisheries, and the continuity of research by the institutions with the greatest expertise in this area is critical."
Lower Mississippi River
Sub-basin Committee on Hypoxia
c/o School of the Coast & Environment
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, La. 70803
Lower Mississippi River
Sub-basin Committee on Hypoxia