Picture of the Day – September 16, 2010
PAVING THE WAY
Photograph by Billy Nungesser/WWL
What you see above isn’t a rural gravel road. It’s a Louisiana waterway, its surface completely covered with dead sea life — a mishmash of species of fish, crabs, stingray and eel. Fish kills are fairly common along the Gulf Coast, particularly during the summer in the area near the mouth of the Mississippi, the site of this kill. The area is rife with dead zones — stretches where sudden oxygen depletion can cause widespread death. But those kills tend to be limited to a single species of fish, rather than the broad sort of die-off involved in this kill.
Dead zones are increasingly common in the world’s oceans. But they’re particularly so off Louisiana, because nutrient-rich water and sediment from the nation’s agricultural runoff travels downriver and is dumped into the Gulf. Various species of single-celled plantlike organisms flourish in waters enriched with chemical nutrients — organisms that go on to vastly deplete the oxygen in the water they inhabit.
via The Upshot: Massive fish kill reported in Louisiana
Every day at 5pm the Sifter will post the picture of the day