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Science File | IN BRIEF

Gulf 'Dead Zone' Grows to 5,800 Square Miles

August 07, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A huge "dead zone" of water so devoid of oxygen that sea life cannot live in it has spread across 5,800 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico this summer in what has become an annual occurrence caused by pollution.

The extensive area of uninhabitable water may be contributing indirectly to an unusual spate of shark bites along the Texas coast, experts said. The dead zone extends from the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana 250 miles west to near the Texas border and has been closer to shore than usual because of winds and currents.

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