Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2002
Publication Date: 3/1/2004
Citation: Locke, M.A. 2004. Mississippi delta management systems evaluation areas overview of water quality issues on watershed scale. American Chemical Society Symposium Series 877. In: Nett, Mary T., Locke, Martin A., and Pennington, Dean A., editors. Water Quality Assessments in the Mississippi Delta. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. pp. 1-15.
Technical Abstract: The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas (MD-MSEA) Project was initiated as a regional effort to evaluate best management practices that might minimize non-point source pollution of water in the lower Mississippi Delta. This project is comprised of a consortium of nearly twenty private, state and federal organizations. Evaluating combined effects of management practices on lake water quality was the primary focus of the first five years. Three oxbow lakes and respective surrounding watersheds provided systems that were compact and manageable, and essentially hydrologically isolated with regard to surface water. Thighman Lake watershed was protocolled as a control with conventional farm practices; at Beasley Lake watershed, edge-of-field practices (e.g., vegetative strips) were implemented with conventional practices; and Deep Hollow Lake watershed was established with a combination of agronomic conservation practices such as cover crops and conservation tillage as well as edge-of-field structural mitigations. Sediment, nutrients and pesticides were identified as the primary lake pollutants of concern, and lakes were monitored for changes in water quality, microbial communities, and fish populations. Other aspects of interest included: runoff from fields, soil resource management, ground water quality, insect and weed control, agricultural production, and socioeconomics. Results from the first five years have demonstrated the capability of these management practices to reduce transport of nonpoint source pollutants to the oxbow lakes monitored.