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Hypoxia Task Force Launches New Monitoring Efforts to Track Water Quality Improvements

The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient (Hypoxia) Task Force has announced that it’s launching two new efforts to monitor reductions in nutrients throughout the watershed. This joint federal, state, and tribal task force — chaired by EPA and the State of Iowa — has established the Mississippi River Monitoring Collaborative to evaluate progress toward reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus entering local waterways and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, USDA (also a member of the Task Force) is preparing to update its technical standard for water quality monitoring to better measure the amount of nutrients coming from farm fields.

The new Mississippi River Monitoring Collaborative, made up of federal and state agencies, is identifying streams with long-term nutrient monitoring and streamflow records. So far, the team has collected more than 670,000 nutrient data records from 12 states in the Mississippi River Basin, which it will use to evaluate where conservation practices and policies are working, and where new or enhanced nutrient reduction strategies need to be developed.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with assistance from EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey and many state partners, are working to improve monitoring through pilot programs of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI). One of the primary goals of the MRBI is to improve water quality in small priority watersheds of the Mississippi River Basin. NRCS and its partners have sought to capture the benefits of MRBI by measuring water quality at the edge-of-field, in stream and at the outlet of a watershed. This year, NRCS reviewed progress in 15 small watersheds with MRBI projects in order to update its technical standard for water quality monitoring.

The Task Force consists of five federal agencies, 12 states and the tribes within the Mississippi/ Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB). The Task Force was established in 1997 to reduce and control hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.  For more information, visit: http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/named/msbasin/index.cfm.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with assistance from EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey and many state partners, are working to improve monitoring through pilot programs of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI). One of the primary goals of the MRBI is to improve water quality in small priority watersheds of the Mississippi River Basin. NRCS and its partners have sought to capture the benefits of MRBI by measuring water quality at the edge-of-field, in stream and at the outlet of a watershed. This year, NRCS reviewed progress in 15 small watersheds with MRBI projects in order to update its technical standard for water quality monitoring.

The Task Force consists of five federal agencies, 12 states and the tribes within the Mississippi/ Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB). The Task Force was established in 1997 to reduce and control hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.  For more information, visit: http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/named/msbasin/index.cfm.