Dead zone and algae bloom could be impacted by tropical disturbance
The tropical development that could bring large amounts of rainfall to Louisiana later this week could have a mitigating impact on the Gulf of Mexico’s algae bloom. LSU Professor Dr. Nancy Rabalais says as the forecast becomes more clear, just how much of an effect the storm will have will be more apparent.
“If it goes further offshore, it might not have as much of an effect. If it goes straight west across the coastal areas then it could alleviate it probably for awhile, I’m not sure how long,” said Rabalais.
Rabalais says if the algae bloom is disrupted, it will only be a temporary fix.
“The continued diversion of Mississippi River water through the Bonnet Carre is going to keep sending more and more nutrients that way, so if it is disrupted, it’s likely going to redevelop,” said Rabalais.
Rabalais says another issue cause by opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, the Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic area known as the dead zone, could see conditions restored to be more favorable for marine life.
“It could stir up the water and force oxygen to the bottom, and that would alleviate the low oxygen conditions, but only temporarily,” said Rabalais.