Mission Areas

Water Resources

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Water is one of seven science mission areas of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Water's mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the Nation's water resources.

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Filter Total Items: 161
Date published: August 29, 2017
Status: Active

Upper Klamath Basin Studies

In 1992, the USGS began studying possible causes for the change in trophic status of Upper Klamath Lake. Since then research has expanded to include groundwater, geomorphology, streamflow forecasting, and fish ecology.

Date published: August 18, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring Mercury in Fish Tissue, Boise and Snake Rivers and Brownlee Reservoir

To meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements, the City of Boise will be responsible for collecting fish tissue samples for mercury analysis upstream of and downstream of their wastewater treatment facilities discharging to the lower Boise and Snake Rivers.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that ultimately makes its way into aquatic...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Date published: August 10, 2017
Status: Active

Groundwater-Flow Model for the Treasure Valley and Surrounding Area

in partnership with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) and Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB), we will construct a numerical groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley and surrounding area. Resource managers will use the model to simulate potential anthropogenic and climatic effects on groundwater for water-supply planning and management. As part of model construction, the...

Date published: August 8, 2017
Status: Active

Wood River Valley Aquatic Biology and Habitat Assessment

Blaine County’s population nearly quadrupled from about 5,700 to 22,000 people between 1970 and 2010. Residents and resource managers of the Wood River Valley of south-central Idaho are concerned about the potential effects that population growth and the expected increased demand for water might have on the quantity and quality of the valley’s ground and surface waters. Increased water use has...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Completed

Identifying Bull Trout Migration in the Upper Boise River Basin

In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) as a threatened species. In 2010, the FWS designated critical habitat for the bull trout, including the upper Boise River basin. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) operates three reservoirs on the upper Boise River for irrigation and flood control. Reclamation and FWS have a need to understand...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Streamflow Evaluation for Water Right Claims for Wild and Scenic Rivers, Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness

Several river segments in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness have been designated as “Wild and Scenic” under the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. This designation is intended to protect the “outstanding remarkable values” (ORVs) in this area—specifically fish and wildlife habitat, scenic and geological features, and recreational opportunities.

The Bureau of Land Management (...

Contacts: Ryan L Fosness
Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Potential Risk of Microplastics in Lake Mead and the Delaware River

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the occurrence of...

Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Mercury Cycling in the Hells Canyon Complex

The Hells Canyon Complex is a hydroelectric project consisting of three dams located on the Snake River along the Oregon and Idaho border. Elevated concentrations of mercury and methylmercury in the water column, bottom sediments, and biota in this reach have resulted in two of the reservoirs, Brownlee and Hells Canyon, being listed as impaired for mercury by the state of Idaho, and the entire...

Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Trace Elements in Streams Near the Stibnite Mining Area

Mining of stibnite (antimony sulfide), tungsten, gold, silver, and mercury near the town of Stibnite in central Idaho has left a legacy of trace element contamination in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River (EFSFSR) and its tributaries. Concentrations of arsenic, antimony, and mercury frequently exceed human health criteria and may impact threatened or endangered salmonid...

Date published: June 24, 2017
Status: Active

Hampton Roads Benchmark Monitoring Network

The southern Chesapeake Bay region is experiencing land subsidence along with rising sea levels, both of which can contribute to coastal flooding. The rates at which these two processes are occurring are not exactly known. Mapping of land elevation change requires ground-truth survey data at multiple locations that are accurate and precise. With the exception of a few CORS sites that have...

The USGS collects, analyzes, and distributes data on a wide variety of water-related issues and resources. Much of our data is publicly available through the National Water Information System (NWIS), but additional datasets and analytical tools are also available.

Access NWISWeb
Filter Total Items: 50
Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2009-2010 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2009-2010 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2007-2008 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata: 2007-2008 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2011 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  
Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2011 eSDT

 

Date published: September 15, 2016

Shapefile and Metadata — 2002 eSDT

Estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values.  

Data is available for download in shapefile format with metadata:  2002 eSDT

Date published: June 15, 2016

USGS WaterAlert Service

Now you can receive instant, customized updates about water conditions by subscribing toWaterAlert, a new service from the U.S. Geological Survey. WaterAlert allows you to receive daily or hourly updates about current conditions in rivers, lakes and groundwater when they match conditions of concern to you.

Date published: May 1, 2016

Mohawk River Basin Water Quality Sampling Sites

Mohawk River Basin Water Quality Sampling Sites

Date published: April 27, 2016

Water Quality Watch

Water Quality Watch displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past water-quality conditions for the United States

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: April 18, 2016

National Water Census - Data Portal

At the National Water Census Data Portal you will find national estimates of water budget components for local watersheds, water withdrawal data for counties, tools to calculate statistics of daily streamflow records, modeled daily streamflow at ungaged stations, and access to records of aquatic biology observations.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Water Quality Portal

The Water Quality Portal integrates and provides access to publicly available water-quality data from databases such as USGS NWIS and BioData, EPA STORET, and USDA-ARS STEWARDS through a single search interface.

Date published: April 11, 2016

National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN) Data Portal

The NGWMN Data Portal provides access to groundwater data from multiple, dispersed databases in a web-based mapping application. The Portal contains current and historical data including water levels, water quality, lithology, and well construction.

Date published: January 25, 2016

Stream Suspended Sediment Loads in Western Oregon and Northwest California (2012)

This ASCII file contains mean annual suspended-sediment loads predicted for western Oregon and northwestern California and the relative contribution to those loads from different types of upstream lithology. These suspended-sediment predictions can be joined to the NHDPlus v.2 hydrography (COMID), allowing users to perform additional analysis and create their own map products.

Date published: September 22, 2012

Alkalinity Calculator

The Alkalinity Calculator will analyze the titration curve and calculate the alkalinity or acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of the sample using one or more of several different methods. Alkalinity is for filtered samples, while ANC is for unfiltered samples. The results will be displayed in tabular and graphical form.

Filter Total Items: 1,661
Year Published: 2017

Groundwater quality in the glacial aquifer system, United States

Groundwater provides nearly 50 percent of the Nation’s drinking water. To help protect this vital resource, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project assesses groundwater quality in aquifers that are important sources of drinking water (Burow and Belitz, 2014). The glacial aquifer system constitutes one of...

Stackelberg, Paul E.
Attribution: Water Resources
Stackelberg, Paul, 2017, Groundwater quality in the glacial aquifer system, United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3055, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173055.

Year Published: 2017

A mass balance approach to investigate arsenic cycling in a petroleum plume

Natural attenuation of organic contaminants in groundwater can give rise to a series of complex biogeochemical reactions that release secondary contaminants to groundwater. In a crude oil contaminated aquifer, biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons is coupled with the reduction of ferric iron (Fe(III)) hydroxides in aquifer sediments. As a...

Ziegler, Brady A.; Schreiber, Madeline E.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Ng. G.-H. Crystal
Attribution: Water Resources
Ziegler, B. A., M. E. Schreiber, I. M. Cozzarelli and G. H. Crystal Ng (2017). "A mass balance approach to investigate arsenic cycling in a petroleum plume." Environmental Pollution 231: 1351-1361.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2017.08.110

Year Published: 2017

Crustal permeability

Permeability is the dominant parameter in most hydrogeologic studies. There is abundant evidence for dynamic variations in permeability in time as well as space, and throughout the crust. Whether this dynamic behavior should be included in quantitative models depends on the problem at hand.

Ingebritsen, Steven E.; Gleeson, Tom
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2017

Northern hemisphere jet stream positions indices as diagnostic tools for climate and ecosystem dynamics

The latitudinal position of the Northern Hemisphere jet stream (NHJ) modulates the occurrence and frequency of extreme weather events. Precipitation anomalies in particular are associated with NHJ variability; the resulting floods and droughts can have considerable societal and economic impacts. This study develops a new climatology of the 300-hPa...

Belmecheri, Soumaya; Babst, Flurin; Hudson, Amy R.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Trouet, Valerie
Attribution: Water Resources
Belmecheri, S., Babst, F., Hudson, A., Betancourt, J.L., and Trouet, V. 2017. Northern Hemisphere jet stream positions indices as diagnostic tools for climate and ecosystem dynamics. Earth Interactions 21(8), 1-23 https://doi.org/10.1175/EI-D-16-0023.1

Year Published: 2017

Combining remote sensing and water-balance evapotranspiration estimates for the conterminous United States

Evapotranspiration (ET) is a key component of the hydrologic cycle, accounting for ~70% of precipitation in the conterminous U.S. (CONUS), but it has been a challenge to predict accurately across different spatio-temporal scales. The increasing availability of remotely sensed data has led to significant advances in the frequency and spatial...

Reitz, Meredith; Senay, Gabriel; Sanford, Ward E.
Attribution: Water Resources
Reitz, M., G.B. Senay, and W.E. Sanford (2017), Combining remote sensing and water-balance evapotranspiration estimates for the conterminous United States. Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1181; doi:10.3390/rs9121181.

Year Published: 2017

Conceptual model for invasive bivalve control on wetland productivity

Tidal wetlands were the historically dominant features of many coastal regions around the world, including the San Francisco Estuary (Callaway et al. 2011; Whipple et al. 2012). These mosaics of varied interconnected habitats (Mitsch and Gosselink 1993) provide a host of ecosystem services, including biodiversity maintenance, fish and wildlife...

Hartman, Rosemary; Brown, Larry R.; Thompson, Janet K.; Parchaso, Francis
Attribution: Water Resources
Hartman R, L Brown, J Thompson, F Parchaso. 2017 Conceptual Model for Invasive Bivalve Control on Wetland Productivity. In Effects of Tidal Wetland Restoration on Fish: A Suite of Conceptual Models. Sherman, S., R. Hartman, and D. Contreras, editors, IEP Technical Report 91. Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, California, p 225-257 http://www.water.ca.gov/iep/products/technicalrpts.cfm

Year Published: 2017

Monitoring gas and heat emissions at Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA based on a combined eddy covariance and Multi-GAS approach

We quantified gas and heat emissions in an acid-sulfate, vapor-dominated area (0.04-km2) of Norris Geyser Basin, located just north of the 0.63 Ma Yellowstone Caldera and near an area of anomalous uplift. From 14 May to 3 October 2016, an eddy covariance system measured half-hourly CO2, H2O and sensible (H) and latent (LE) heat fluxes and a...

Lewicki, Jennifer L.; Kelly, Peter; Bergfeld, Deborah; Vaughan, R. Greg; Lowenstern, Jacob B.
Attribution: Water Resources
Lewicki, J.L., P.J. Kelly, D. Bergfeld, R.G. Vaughan, J.B. Lowenstern. Monitoring gas and heat emissions at Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA based on a combined eddy covariance and Multi-GAS approach. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 347, 312-326, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.10.001, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

Biological relevance of streamflow metrics: Regional and national perspectives

Protecting the health of streams and rivers requires identifying ecologically significant attributes of the natural flow regime. Streamflow regimes are routinely quantified using a plethora of hydrologic metrics (HMs), most of which have unknown relevance to biological communities. At regional and national scales, we evaluated which of 509...

Carlisle, Daren M.; Grantham, Theodore E.; Eng, Kenny; Wolock, David M.
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2017

Disrupted carbon cycling in restored and unrestored urban streams: Critical timescales and controls

Carbon fixation and respiration in flowing waterways play significant roles in global and regional carbon budgets, yet how land use and watershed management interact with temporal disturbances (storms) to influence metabolism remains poorly understood. Here, we combine long-term with synoptic sampling of metabolism and its variable controls in...

Larsen, L. G.; Harvey, Judson
Attribution: Water Resources

Year Published: 2017

Perspectives on chemical oceanography in the 21st century: Participants of the COME ABOARD Meeting examine aspects of the field in the context of 40 years of DISCO

The questions that chemical oceanographers prioritize over the coming decades, and the methods we use to address these questions, will define our field's contribution to 21st century science. In recognition of this, the U.S. National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration galvanized a community effort (the Chemical...

Fassbender, Andrea J.; Palevsky, Hilary I.; Martz, Todd R.; Ingalls, Anitra E.; Gledhill, Martha; Fawcett, Sarah E.; Brandes, Jay; Aluwihare, Lihini; Anderson, Robert M.; Bender, Sara; Boyle, Ed; Bronk, Debbie; Buesseler, Ken; Burdige, David J.; Casciotti, Karen; Close, Hilary; Conte, Maureen; Cutter, Greg; Estapa, Meg; Fennel, Katja; Ferron, Sara; Glazer, Brian; Goni, Miguel; Grand, Max; Guay, Chris; Hatta, Mariko; Hayes, Chris; Horner, Tristan; Ingall, Ellery; Johnson, Kenneth G.; Juranek, Laurie; Knapp, Angela; Lam, Phoebe; Luther, George; Matrai, Paty; Nicholson, David; Paytan, Adina; Pellenbarg, Robert; Popendorf, Kim; Reddy, Christopher M.; Ruttenberg, Kathleen; Sabine, Chris; Sansone, Frank; Shaltout, Nayrah; Sikes, Liz; Sundquist, Eric T.; Valentine, David; Wang, Zhao (Aleck); Wilson, Sam; Barrett, Pamela; Behrens, Melanie; Belcher, Anna; Biermann, Lauren; Boiteau, Rene; Clarke, Jennifer; Collins, Jamie; Coppola, Alysha; Ebling, Alina M.; Garcia-Tigreros, Fenix; Goldman, Johanna; Guallart, Elisa F.; Haskell, William; Hurley, Sarah; Janssen, David; Johnson, Winn; Lennhartz, Sinikka; Liu, Shuting; Rahman, Shaily; Ray, Daisy; Sarkar, Amit; Steiner, Zvika; Widner, Brittany; Yang, Bo
Attribution: Water Resources
Fassbender, A.J. et al, 2017, Perspectives on Chemical Oceanography in the 21st century: Participants of the COME ABOARD Meeting examine aspects of the field in the context of 40 years of DISCO, Marine Chemistry, 196, 181-190, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2017.09.002.

Year Published: 2017

Predicting outcomes of restored Everglades high flow: A model system for scientifically managed floodplains

Restoration of higher flows through the Everglades is intended to reestablish sheetflow to rebuild a well-functioning ridge and slough landscape that supports a productive and diverse ecosystem. Our objective of the study was to use hydrologic simulations and biophysical analysis to predict restoration outcomes for five major subbasins of the...

Choi, Jay; Harvey, Judson
Attribution: Water Resources
J. Choi and J.W. Harvey, 2016, Predicting outcomes of restored Everglades high flow: a model system for scientifically managed floodplains, Restoration Ecology, doi:10.1111/rec.12479.

Year Published: 2017

Flow and residence times of dynamic river bank storage and sinuosity-driven hyporheic exchange

Hydrologic exchange fluxes (HEFs) vary significantly along river corridors due to spatiotemporal changes in discharge and geomorphology. This variability results in the emergence of biogeochemical hot-spots and hot-moments that ultimately control solute and energy transport and ecosystem services from the local to the watershed scales. In this...

Gomez-Velez, J.D.; Wilson, J.L.; Cardenas, M.B.; Harvey, Judson
Attribution: Water Resources

The USGS produces many types of multimedia products. Use the links below to browse our offerings of photograph galleries, podcasts and sound files, videos, aerial photos, and posters related to water. The USGS Newsroom has a Web page that highlights the main collection of multimedia products.

Filter Total Items: 1,056
बच्चों के लिए पानी/जल चक्र, The Water Cycle for Schools, Hindi
February 22, 2018

बच्चों के लिए पानी/जल चक्र, The Water Cycle for Schools, Hindi

बच्चों के लिए पानी/जल चक्र, The Water Cycle for Schools, Hindi

Attribution: Water Resources
A Víz Körforgása gyerekek rész, The Water Cycle for Schools, Hungarian
February 22, 2018

A Víz Körforgása gyerekek rész, The Water Cycle for Schools, Hungarian

A Víz Körforgása gyerekek rész, The Water Cycle for Schools, Hungarian

Attribution: Water Resources
Akva Ciklo - The Water Cycle, Esperanto
February 21, 2018

Akva Ciklo - The Water Cycle, Esperanto

Akva Ciklo - The Water Cycle, Esperanto

Attribution: Water Resources
The Water Cycle, Bengali
February 21, 2018

The Water Cycle, Bengali

The Water Cycle, Bengali

Attribution: Water Resources
Суунун айлануусу - The Water Cycle, Kyrgyz
February 21, 2018

Суунун айлануусу - The Water Cycle, Kyrgyz

Суунун айлануусу - The Water Cycle, Kyrgyz

Attribution: Water Resources
Mélokani ndokh - The Water Cycle, Wolof
February 21, 2018

Mélokani ndokh - The Water Cycle, Wolof

Mélokani ndokh - The Water Cycle, Wolof

Attribution: Water Resources
Ku cinca ka mati - The Water Cycle, Tsonga
February 21, 2018

Ku cinca ka mati - The Water Cycle, Tsonga

Ku cinca ka mati - The Water Cycle, Tsonga

Attribution: Water Resources
వాటర్ సైకిల్ - The Water Cycle, Telugu
February 21, 2018

వాటర్ సైకిల్ - The Water Cycle, Telugu

వాటర్ సైకిల్ - The Water Cycle, Telugu

Attribution: Water Resources
Сув айланиши - The Water Cycle, Uzbek
February 21, 2018

Сув айланиши - The Water Cycle, Uzbek

Сув айланиши - The Water Cycle, Uzbek

Attribution: Water Resources
Ètò Ìsònyíká-omi-aláìdékun - The Water Cycle, Yoruba
February 21, 2018

Ètò Ìsònyíká-omi-aláìdékun - The Water Cycle, Yoruba

Ètò Ìsònyíká-omi-aláìdékun - The Water Cycle, Yoruba

Attribution: Water Resources
Timthriall an Uisce - The Water Cycle, Irish
February 21, 2018

Timthriall an Uisce - The Water Cycle, Irish

Timthriall an Uisce (The Water Cycle), Gaeilge (Irish)

Bíonn uisce an Domhain de shíor ag gluaiseacht. Is é timthriall an uisce (nó an timthriall hidreolaíoch mar a thugtar air uaireanta) a chuireann síos ar shíorghluaiseacht an uisce ar dhromchla an Domhain, os cionn an dromchla, agus thíos faoi. Bíonn staid an uisce á hathrú de shíor idir leacht, gal, agus leac oighir...

Attribution: Water Resources
The Water Cycle, Amharic
February 21, 2018

The Water Cycle, Amharic

The Water Cycle, Amharic

Attribution: Water Resources
Filter Total Items: 364
Date published: August 29, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in South-Central Texas

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Lynne Fahlquist. 

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of south-central Texas following intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Date published: August 29, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in South-Central Texas

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Lynne Fahlquist. 

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of south-central Texas following intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Date published: August 25, 2017

USGS Prepares for Hurricane Harvey

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 25, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-tide Sensors along Texas Coast prior to Harvey’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 24, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-tide Sensors along Texas Coast prior to Harvey’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Storm-tide sensors are being installed at key locations along the Texas Gulf Coast by the U.S. Geological Survey in advance of Hurricane Harvey.

Date published: August 9, 2017

Pesticides Prevalent in Midwestern Streams

One hundred small streams in the Midwest were tested for pesticides during the 2013 growing season and found to contain, on average, 52 pesticides per stream

Date published: July 26, 2017

USGS Releases New JavaScript Library to Create Location Search Widgets for Web Applications

The U.S. Geological Survey Search API is a custom JavaScript library useful for creating a location search widget in a webpage, typically in conjunction with a web map. The widget connects to a database created for the API, or Application-Programming Interface, to quickly find and suggest locations as the user enters text to navigate to areas of interest. 

Date published: July 19, 2017

New App Shows Aquifer Level Change and Subsidence in Relation to Groundwater Withdrawals in Houston-Galveston Area

A new interactive web application illustrates how groundwater, sediment compaction and land-elevation change are related in the Houston-Galveston region in Texas. The new app was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and is available online.

Date published: July 14, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Heavy Flooding in Ohio

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring heavy flooding in the Columbus and Newark Ohio areas, as well as the northwest part of the state.

Date published: July 7, 2017

USGS Scientists to Track Effects of Historic Lake Ontario Flooding

Media Alert: Reporters wishing to accompany USGS scientists in the field the week of July 10 should contact Bill Coon, 607-220-6280 or wcoon@usgs.gov by 5 pm EDT Friday, July 7.

Date published: June 26, 2017

Human Activity Alters Streamflow Throughout Kansas

Human activity, such as groundwater pumping, land management, reservoir operations and urbanization, has a measurable effect on streamflows in Kansas locally, regionally and statewide, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Date published: June 20, 2017

NOAA, USGS and partners predict third largest Gulf of Mexico summer ‘dead zone’ ever

Larger-than-average low and no oxygen area may affect the region’s shrimp fisheries