Old 07-18-2011, 10:42 AM
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Gulf Dead Zone to Expand

Experts Predict Gulf 'Dead Zone' Growth

Updated: Monday, 18 Jul 2011, 9:13 AM CDT
Published : Monday, 18 Jul 2011, 9:13 AM CDT

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M oceanographers say they expect the 3,800-square-mile "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico to expand because of floodwaters flowing from the Mississippi River.

The zone is now the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. It's where the Gulf waters off the southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi coasts contain low oxygen levels, often leading to die-offs of marine life.

AUM oceanography professor Steve DiMarco tells The Eagle of Bryan and College Station that the biggest areas of low oxygen content remain off the Louisiana coast. Scientists with the Louisiana Universities Martine Consortium predict the dead zone to expand to more than 9,400 square miles this year.

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