Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2012
Publication Date: 5/8/2012
Citation: Kroger, R., Thornton, K.W., Moore, M.T., Farris, J.L., Prevost, J.D., Pierce, S.C. 2012. Tiered collaborative strategies for reducing hypoxia and restoring the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 67(3):70A-73A. Interpretive Summary: Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico is a serious national water quality issue. Successful frameworks for addressing hypoxia must include tiered collaboration starting on the field with the stakeholder (landowner)and travelling all the way through to Federal cooperation. Frameworks must cross state boundaries and work toward a common goal. Strategic implementation plans for states draining into the Gulf of Mexico should be compatible, comparable, and consistent if successful nutrient reduction is to occur.
Technical Abstract: The Gulf of Mexico is more than just a water body south of the United States. It is an international marine ecosystem, the ninth largest water body in the world (USEPA 2007), and it receives drainage from the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), the third largest drainage basin in the world. The combined gross domestic product of the five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas), makes this region the seventh largest global economy (IMF 2006). Major regional industries include commercial and recreational fishing, shrimp and oyster harvesting, tourism and recreation, and oil and gas production. Many of these industries are affected by the water quality of the Gulf of Mexico, as illustrated by the economic and environmental impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Clearly, the health of the Gulf of Mexico contributes not only to the local and regional economy, but also to the national and global economy.