NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Engine troubles aboard a federal research ship have forced the cancellation of this year's survey of the low-oxygen "dead zone" that forms each summer in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's the first time in 27 years that the mapping cruise has been canceled. The project began in 1985.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a news release Friday that no other ships were available to do the survey. ' The Times-Picayune reports that the cruise was expected to determine whether researchers were accurate in June in estimating that this year's low oxygen area in the Gulf of Mexico would cover 5,898 to 6,824 square miles. That's the size of Connecticut and a bit larger than the 2015 area of hypoxia.


(Information from: The Times-Picayune,

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