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You are here News Environment Near-record 'dead zone' predicted in the Gulf of Mexico this summer

Near-record 'dead zone' predicted in the Gulf of Mexico this summer

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Near record dead zone in gulf predicted

The annual Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" – a region of oxygen-depleted water off the Louisiana and Texas coasts that's harmful to sea life – will be the second-largest on record this summer, scientists announced Monday.

This year's zone should be about 8,717 square miles, an area roughly the size of New Hampshire, according to researchers at Louisiana State University. The average Gulf dead zone is about 5,309 square miles, the record is 8,776 square miles set in 2017.

A dead zone occurs at the bottom of a body of water when there isn't enough oxygen in the water to support marine life. Also known as hypoxia, it's created by nutrient runoff, mostly from over-application of fertilizer on agricultural fields during the spring.

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