There is an oxygen-starved "dead zone" in Lake Erie. Many international scientists with extensive equipment and research vessels are gathering in Ohio to find out why. Among them are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) landlocked Ann Arbor, Michigan Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. They will be the leaders in the 2-year long study. If the construction keeps up on Michigan roadways it will probably take them that long just to drive down there. Included will be dozens of scientists and their graduate students from Canada, Great Lakes states, universities and some other federal agencies, because one is just not enough when it comes to spending money. Some of the researchers have already pegged certain reasons for the dead zone including the zebra mussel but they havent explained that one too well. Low water levels, fertilizer and other chemical runoff may be investigated if they come up empty on the zebra mussel. Apparently preparing to spend as much money as he can before he gets started, Stephen Brandt, director of the landlocked lab in Ann Arbor stated, "We not only want to find out why this is happening, we want to find out how it might affect the food web and what the consequences might be." One possible reason they will not be investigating is the impact of High Pressure Injection wells. There are two sets of them, one on each side of Cleveland, where the problem seems to be centered. The dead-zone is just like the dead zones that have appeared with increasing frequency in the Gulf of Mexico. The reason that these large bodies of deoxygenated water with higher than usual levels of salt in them are appearing in the Gulf of Mexico is most likely due to water being pushed out of the earth far from injection points. In Michigan the waters encased deep within the earth are also largely without oxygen and if they are pushed to the surface or near the surface where they can enter the lake body they will cause as much damage and trouble as the floating dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico. Dont expect these landlubbers to check these problems out, however, they will most likely be spending the season tripping over deck ropes and sailing amongst the picturesque islands of Lake Erie and spending their evening writing really long reports. Result lots of money spent and nothing solved.