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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Diaz contributes to White House "dead zone" report

  • Global Hypoxia 2009
    Global Hypoxia 2009
    Global pattern of coastal hypoxia in 2009. Each red dot represents a documented case related to human activities. Use scroll arrows to compare with similar data from 1989 and 1969.
    Modified from Diaz and Rosenberg (2008) and updated by Rabalais et al. (2009).
  • Global Hypoxia 1989
    Global Hypoxia 1989
    Global pattern of coastal hypoxia in 1989. Each red dot represents a documented case related to human activities. Use scroll arrows to compare with similar data from 2009 and 1969.
    Modified from Diaz and Rosenberg (2008) and updated by Rabalais et al. (2009).
  • Global Hypoxia 1969
    Global Hypoxia 1969
    Global pattern of coastal hypoxia in 1989. Each red dot represents a documented case related to human activities. Use scroll arrows to compare with similar data from 2009 and 1969.
    Modified from Diaz and Rosenberg (2008) and updated by Rabalais et al. (2009).
  • Dead Zone
    Dead Zone
    Scavengers feed on the remains of bottom-dwelling clams that suffocated during a hypoxic event that took place in 1976 off the New York-New Jersey coast. The oxygen-starved dead zone covered nearly 1,000 square kilometers. Photo by Dr. Don Boesch.
  • Caspian Anoxia
    Caspian Anoxia
    A cross-sectional image of the oxygen-starved seafloor beneath the Caspian Sea dead zone. Note the absence of any living creatures on or burrowed into the seafloor. Photo courtesy Joe Germano
  • Researchers
    Researchers
    VIMS Professor Bob Diaz and co-author Rutger Rosenberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Research by Professor Bob Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science lies at the heart of a new White House report on the growing problem of low-oxygen marine "dead zones." The report, released today to Congress and the public by the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy, notes that low oxygen dead zones now affect nearly half of the 647 U.S. waterways assessed for the report, up from 38 percent reported in the 1980s.

 Diaz was lead author for the report's chapters on the science, economics, and societal impacts of marine dead zones.  He was one of  only 3 academic researchers involved in the report's development.

The report is the final of 5 reports mandated by Congress in the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Amendments Act of 2004 and is available online through the White House Office of Ocean Science & Technology.