• Oxygen. Canal needs more of it.

    July 8, 2010

    According to the Kitsap Sun this might be a tough year for Hood Canal sea creatures. Every winter and spring a salt water intrusion flushes the canal with oxygen-rich sea water, but this year the intrusion was very weak. Now oxygen levels below 150 feet are at their lowest recorded levels since record keeping began in the 1950s.

    The low-oxygen doesn’t hurt shellfish or intertidal species, but  it’s very bad for the ecosystem as a whole. In the late summer of 2006 thousands of bottom fish and deep water species washed up dead on area beaches, suffocated by anoxic water. Scientists aren’t sure if the current low oxygen levels will lead to another major fish kill… but starting out with an oxygen deficit certainly makes the situation more precarious.

    Hopefully this won’t be a summer of major south winds, because a strong south wind can roll oxygen-rich water off the surface and bring up low-oxygen water from the deep.

    Read the article, and the entertaining comment thread that accompanies it, here.

    { 0 comments… add one now }

    Leave a Comment

    { 1 trackback }

    Previous post:

    Next post: