Covering Louisiana

Aug 4, 2014 3:15 PM by AP

Dead zone off Louisiana about at 5-year average

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A scientist who has studied the low-oxygen dead zone off Louisiana for 30 years says this year's is about average, and about the size of Connecticut.

Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium says that, unusually, it's in two sections rather than one continuous zone where the oxygen is too low to support marine life.

She says it measured about 5,050 square miles as of Aug. 1. That's within the range predicted earlier this year. The prediction is based on the amount of nitrogen coming down the Mississippi River.

Rabalais notes that it's three times larger than the target approved in 2001 and 2008 by a federal task force.

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