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EPA’s OWOW Holds Meeting on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Outreach and Education

On June 14th, EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) held a meeting with representatives from EPA-OGWDW, USGS, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Agricultural Library, NOAA, ASDWA, ASIWPCA, ASTHO, and the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to share information and ideas for communicating about Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N&P) pollution in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB).  This meeting is part of a bigger effort that OWOW is undertaking to develop a Nutrients Outreach and Technical Assistance Strategy to educate the public and stakeholders about this issue and call them to take action.  The strategy builds on EPA’s Office of Science and Technology’s efforts in this area to date, as well as the work of the State-EPA Nutrients Innovations Task Group, in which ASDWA participated.  ASDWA’s Nutrient Workgroup also met with OWOW staff via conference call to discuss the preliminary development of the strategy in March 2011.

While this meeting was mostly focused on the MARB, participants also discussed target audiences and best opportunities for outreach and education on N&P pollution at the national level, as well as possible avenues for publicizing, combining, or piggy-backing on each others’ efforts.  For example, the NEEF provides viewer action tips to television meteorologists for broadcasting during the news about environmental issues that could be expanded to include specific information about N&P.

OWOW plans to start a listserv and continue working with stakeholders as the outreach and education strategy is further developed and implemented.  Keep up with OWOW’s latest news (tweets) by signing up to the Twitter site at:  http://twitter.com/#!/EPAowow.