Travis Lux

Contributing Reporter

Travis Lux primarily contributes science and health stories to Louisiana's Lab. He studied anthropology and sociology at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and picked up his first microphone at the Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole, MA. In his spare time he loves to cook -- especially soups and casseroles. 

The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where the oxygen is so low that fish and shrimp can’t live.

 

Scientists say this year’s dead zone is 8,776 square miles now -- about the size of New Jersey. Over the last five years it’s averaged 5,543 square miles.

 

It’s caused largely by agricultural runoff from the Midwest, and brought downstream by the Mississippi River. That runoff is high in nitrates, from fertilizer, which causes algae to bloom. When the algae dies, it sucks oxygen out of the water.

Bonnet Carre Spillway Opens

Jan 11, 2016
WRKF, Travis Lux

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Sunday. Heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising river water stages prompted the opening.

The spillway was opened to divert water into Lake Pontchartrain to help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second. That amount of water is enough to fill the entire Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds.

The spillway may be open for several weeks. All public access areas within the spillway are closed until further notice.

Joseph A. Marcus / www.wildflower.org

Modern medicine was born out of folk medicine. Today, though, modern medicine feels pretty distant from whatever folk traditions have stuck around, and it's easy to assume they don't have much in common. Travis Lux tells us about a collaborative study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center investigating the healing potential of native Louisiana plants.