On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Environmental Law on August 07, 2015.
Many people who live in Louisiana have heard of the so-called dead zone. It is located off of the coast in the Gulf of Mexico and is an area of the water where this is very little oxygen. The dead zone is created primarily by run-off containing fertilizer and other harmful nutrients. The nutrients cause a massive algae bloom, which then dies and depletes the water of most of its oxygen, making it nearly impossible for other marine life to live in.
The fact that the dead zone exists, is not news. It is estimated to have been around since the 1950s. What makes this year different is how big it is. This year, it measures 6,474 square feet, or the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. Over the last five years, however, the average has been 5,500 square miles.
Experts say the increased size is likely the result of increased rains this summer. Although the dead zone usually diminishes in the fall, months of little to no marine life, including crabs, shrimp and fish, can cause serious harm to the coastal economy.
The dead zone is a serious problem for Louisiana residents and our marine habitat. It is a problem that we have known about for decades, yet it continues to grow. Researchers continue to work on viable ways to reduce the size of the dead zone. Hopefully they will be able to come up with a strategy to protect our environment and provide relief to those who depend on marine life.
Source: USA Today, "Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone' larger than usual this year," Doyle Rice, Aug. 4, 2015
Tags: Environmental Law