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Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force

Hypoxia in the News

Hypoxia continues to draw attention worldwide as a critical issue affecting people and ecosystems. A wealth of articles online discuss both the problem and its solutions.

United States Geological Survey Releases New Report

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a new report titled "Trends in Nutrients and Pesticides in the Nation's Streams and Rivers."  

Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone: Annual Size

Every summer the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico is measured. You can access measurements of dissolved oxygen levels taken from 2001 to the current season and compare the size of the zone from one year to next. You can also see how the current season compared to past seasons.

Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone Scientist Receives 2012 MacArthur Fellowship

Nancy Rabalais, a marine ecologist who focuses on researching, documenting, and mitigating the effects of the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone with significant support from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's (NOAA) Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems & Hypoxia Assessment (NGOMEX) program, has received a prestigious award for her work. The MacArthur Fellowship is a $500,000 award to recognize impressive accomplishments and encourage continued achievements. You can read more about her accomplishments on the MacArthur Foundation WebsiteExit

Des Moines Register Releases Collection of Articles on Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

A new "Dead Zone" websiteExit by the Des Moines Register has articles and infographics on "Dead Zone" size, impacts from fertilizer use on farms, farmer initiatives and interest, and scientific research results regarding nutrient pollution and the Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone". 

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association Releases Report

The Upper Mississippi River Basin Association released a report as part of a project to aid in the implementation of Clean Water Act programs on the Upper Mississippi River, both to achieve greater interstate consistency and to enhance water quality protection. The report, "Upper Mississippi River Nutrient Monitoring, Occurrence, and Local Impacts: A Clean Water Act Perspective," is available for downloadExit.

Nutrient Flux for the Mississippi River Basin and Subbasins

USGS has monitored streamflow and water quality in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) for decades. Increasingly, management concerns have focused on delivery of streamflow and nutrients to the Gulf of Mexico because of their influence on the formation and extent of a zone of hypoxic waters in the northern Gulf. Flux and yield estimates for subbasins are important because they provide a means to identify the primary source areas and the relative contributions of both streamflow and nutrients from different parts of the Basin.

To learn more, visit: USGS - Nutrient Flux for the Mississippi River Basin and Subbasins.

Tracking Marine Dead Zones Worldwide: A Web-based Tool

web-based toolExit graphically illustrated eutrophic and/or hypoxic conditions in some 762 coastal areas worldwide. The tool identifies:

  • 479 sites as experiencing hypoxia
  • 55 sites that once experienced hypoxia but are now improving
  • 228 sites that experience other symptoms of eutrophication, including algal blooms, species loss, and impacts to coral reef assemblages

These data were compiled using a literature search conducted by Dr. Robert Diaz of Virginia Institute of Marine ScienceExit and World Resources InstituteExit staff. Because this map depends on available data, geographic areas with more data availability (such as the United States) may show relatively more problem areas compared to areas with less data.

The researchers seek information that will help them to ensure that this dataset is accurate and up-to-date. Contact them for more information or to provide feedbackExit.