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Smaller ‘Dead Zone’ in Gulf of Mexico Than Predicted, NOAA Says

Aug. 1, 2019, 7:55 PM

The annual “dead zone” for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico this summer isn’t as large as researchers predicted because of Hurricane Barry, scientists said Aug. 1.

Fertilizer runoff and extreme flooding across the central U.S. had been expected to contribute to a nearly record-large area of low oxygen that kills fish and other marine life, according to a June forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But wind from last month’s Hurricane Barry created waves, which got more oxygen in the water, scientists said.

After Barry’s July 13 landfall, the dead zone measured about 6,952 square miles ...