Researchers Want To Get To The
Bottom Of Lake’s Dead Zone
By Tom Chansky
Ohio News Network
Researchers are launching their latest attempt to find
out what’s behind a "dead zone" in Lake Erie.
Today, 17 scientists will leave Cleveland to work for
one week aboard a research vessel. They will conduct experiments
to find clues to an area of low-oxygen water, or a dead
One possible cause is the tiny zebra mussel, an invasive
species. Researchers say their presence allows light and
algae deeper in the lake. Additionally, the mussels’ appetites
have altered the natural food chain.
Other theories suggest that the lake may be suffering
from the effects of climate changes linked to global warming.
The researchers will gather water and soil samples to
determine the cause of the dead zone.
Earlier this year, one of Ohio’s U.S. Senators, Mike
DeWine (R), introduced legislation to create new requirements
and monitoring programs for the shipping industry.
Under DeWine’s proposal, all ships traveling the Great
Lakes would be required to have a management plan for
dealing with invasive species and meet tougher requirements
for changing ballast water.
Invasive species have caused millions of dollars in damage
to businesses and the environment.