In its sixth year, Pacific dead zone closer to surf

By Program #5281 of the Earth & Sky Radio Series
August 2007

For the sixth year in a row, scientists have found oxygen-starved water off the coast of Oregon.

The large pool – not far beyond Oregon’s coast – is commonly known as a ”dead zone.” It can potentially suffocate slow-moving creatures such as crabs and sea stars on the ocean floor. Francis Chan is a marine ecologist at Oregon State University.

Francis Chan: To find it just within a mile or two of the surf zone, is really something that we have never seen before. We really don’t see any records of oxygen levels this low, this close to shore.

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