Researchers hope to unravel Lake Erie's
'dead zone' mystery
The Associated Press
Posted on Pittsburgh Live August 2, 2005
Researchers are using remote-control devices to study
the so-called "dead zone" in Lake Erie.
The study, conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, will collect data from remote-control
devices that will move through the lake, monitoring a
low-oxygen area where fish and most other aquatic life
The researchers hope to be able to tell the Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission, the Ohio Department of Natural
Resources and other agencies what caused the dead zone,
and what they might do in the future to prevent it.
Researchers believe the dead zone might be linked to
zebra mussels found in the lake.
Dead zones were common in the 1960s and 1970s when there
was more pollution, including phosphorus, in the Great
Lakes, but federal pollution laws largely corrected those
However, a dead zone emerged in Lake Erie in the late
1990s that continues to puzzle researchers. The dead zone
in 2003 was the largest in recent years, then last year
was not noticeable.