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Dead ZonesThe Loss of Oxygen from Rivers, Lakes, Seas, and the Ocean$
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David L. Kirchman

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197520376

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197520376.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

Dead Zones Discovered in Coastal Waters

Dead Zones Discovered in Coastal Waters

(p.21) 2 Dead Zones Discovered in Coastal Waters
Dead Zones

David L. Kirchman

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the discovery of coastal dead zones, such as the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay in North America and the Baltic and Black Seas in Europe. Gene Turner sailed out of Pascagoula, Mississippi, in the spring of 1975, on the first of seven cruises that led to the discovery of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. In the Chesapeake Bay, an unlikely environmentalist, Charles Officer, sounded the alarm in 1984. The biggest dead zone, however, is the Baltic Sea. Even as early as 1969, ecologists feared hypoxia was turning the Baltic into a “biological desert.” The northwest shelf of the Black Sea turned hypoxic in the 1970s, which killed bottom-dwelling fish like goby and flounder. Many coastal regions around the world have low oxygen waters that devastate marine life and habitats. The early studies emphasized one or two of three ingredients—sewage, fresh water, and plant nutrients—thought to be essential in creating a dead zone. This chapter and Chapter 3 discuss these ingredients before revealing which is most important.

Keywords:   Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Gulf of Mexico, R.E. Turner, Chesapeake Bay

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