NOAA predicts and measures chemical pollution and its affects on our oceans. And based on Mississippi River nitrogen and phosphorous runoff data it was predicted to be worse than ever this year. And the prediction was accurate. The average size of the low-oxygen, or hypoxic, zone is growing. This is not a good sign for the life of the ocean. And the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is larger than average this year.
Scientists determined that the area off Louisiana and Texas' coasts covers about 16,405 square kilometers (6,334 sq miles).