Hypoxia

Low Oxygen Levels Impact Marine Invertebrates

With rising global temperatures already lowering marine oxygen levels – to the point of producing and exacerbating coastal ‘dead zones’ – this could become a serious problem.

Many marine invertebrates – just like other animals with functional and complex eyes – depend on vision for survival. It helps them find prey, avoid predators, and locate shelter.

Less Hypoxia along Gulf Coast–But…

“As discussed in the press release, there still remains a need to reduce the nutrient load entering the Gulf of Mexico and the smaller observed size was likely a result of storm and wind conditions and are not necessarily an indication of a long-term decrease in hypoxia area,” said Keeley Belva, a spokeswoman for the National Ocean Service.

Gulf “Dead Zone” Bigger than New Jersey

Intensive agriculture near the Mississippi has led to fertilizers leeching into the river, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, via soils and waterways. This has resulted in a huge oxygen-deprived dead zone in the Gulf that is now at its largest ever extent, covering an area greater than the state of New Jersey.