Nutrients & Nutrient Impacts
Nutrients are carried into estuaries and coastal waters through rain, groundwater, rivers, streams, waves and tides. Natural levels of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus help plants and animals grow. Because of these natural levels of nutrients, coastal water bodies are highly productive areas for fish and wildlife. However, a balance of the right amounts and forms of nutrients is essential to maintaining healthy and productive Gulf ecosystems. The Governor’s Alliance provides a collaborative approach to build and evaluate tools needed to reduce excess nutrients and restore coastal waters that have been negatively impacted.
Action Plan I "Successes"
- Convened a Nutrient Priority Issue Team focused specifically to synthesize the state of knowledge regarding nutrient levels and develop regional coordination
- Coordination of federal, state and local monitoring efforts and data management in order to support development of numeric nutrient criteria
- Supported federal, state and local efforts to conduct (2) Decentralized Wastewater Conferences which led to the utilization of this technology in a Mississippi pilot project
- Assisted in the completion of a comprehensive reassessment of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan
- Established effective Mississippi River Basin-wide agricultural partnerships to better facilitate strategic voluntary nutrient reductions
Action Plan II "Goals"
- Design a regional process for comparing nutrient criteria across coastal and estuarine waters
- Develop and implement strategies that reduce nutrient inputs and hypoxia
- Establish a comprehensive ecosystem approach to manage nutrient inputs and reduce impacts to coastal ecosystems
- Increase the capacity of Gulf coastal communities so that nutrient impacts are better managed and reduced