Fish kill dead zone in Washington – 06/10/2004

  • September 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm #518

    Tacoma, WA, Jun. 9 (UPI) — Environmentalists in the Northwestern
    United States are bracing for what could be the worst fish kill in
    memory, the Tacoma Tribune reported Wednesday.

    Jan Newton, a University of Washington oceanographer who also works
    for the state Department of Ecology, said things are likely to get
    worse in what has become a dead zone for fish and other deep-water
    marine life at the south end of the Hood Canal.

    “The odds are more and more fish and shellfish will die because there
    is simply less oxygen than there ever has been historically,” Newton

    Experts blame hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, for the deaths of thousands
    of fish and other sea creatures in the Hood Canal during the last two

    “Going into the summer, it might even be worse than we’ve seen in the
    past,” said Mary Lou Mills, the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s
    marine ecosystem manager.

    State officials last month issued a preliminary action plan, blaming
    the problem on excess nitrogen from septic systems, storm water
    runoff, discarded salmon carcasses, livestock manure, other
    fertilizers and other sources.

    Excess nitrogen accelerates the growth of aquatic plants, such as
    algae, which then consume oxygen when they die.

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