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Hypoxia Task Force Makes Progress to Reduce Runoff Fueling Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

Published on: 12/04/2014

The Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force ("Hypoxia Task Force") works to reduce and control hypoxia, or the dead zone, in the Gulf of Mexico. At the Fall Public Meeting in Alton, Illinois, the Task Force reported recent progress in dead zone reduction. New measures and actions were passed to control nutrient runoff which will further decrease the size of the dead zone.

dead zone chart_080414

NCCOS sponsored research provides for the annual mapping of the size of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an important indicator of progress in reducing nutrient pollution from the Mississippi River watershed into the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Nancy Rabalais, LUMCON.

Important highlights of the meeting include:

  1. A revised Action Plan goal statement establishing interim and long-term targets to control nutrient runoff,
  2. Increased engagement of Mississippi River Basin partners,
  3. Timelines and requirements for a required congressional progress report, and
  4. All12 participating Mississippi River Basin states now have at least a draft nutrient reduction plan in place.

As a member of the Task Force, NCCOS scientists provide staff support for implementing goals and developing progress reports. Rob Magnien co-leads the Task Force Goals Committee and NCCOS sponsored scientific research supports the Task Force through dead zone forecasts, size measurements, and studies of causes and impacts of the dead zone, including social science studies.

For more information, contact Rob.Magnien@noaa.gov.

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