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Great Lakes Article:

Researchers Want To Get To The Bottom Of Lake’s Dead Zone
By Tom Chansky
Ohio News Network
08/14/03


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 zone.

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.

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