2008 Action Plan and Related Documents
On this page
Action 11 of the 2008 Action Plan calls for a reassessment, in five years, of the Task Force approach to addressing excess nitrogen and phosphorus loads in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin, and to reduce the size of the Gulf hypoxic zone. The 2013 Reassessment (86 pp, 4.9MB) is the Task Force’s response to the Action 11 commitment. It provides a snapshot of progress to date in implementing the 2008 Action Plan: states are making progress in nutrient reduction strategies; USDA continues to provide strong assistance for conservation practices; science and monitoring continue to improve; and the goal for reducing the Gulf hypoxic zone remains reasonable. A key conclusion of the Reassessment is that the Task Force work to accelerate implementation of nutrient reduction activities and identify ways to measure progress at a variety of scales.
2008 Action Plan
The 2008 Action Plan describes a national strategy to reduce, mitigate, and control hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and improve water quality in the Mississippi River Basin. The plan was released on June 16th, 2008. You may request a copy, download the Action Plan as a PDF file or download related outreach materials.
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force released the 2008 Action Plan as a product of a four-year reassessment that was called for in the 2001 Action Plan. The revised Plan reflects emerging science including EPA's Science Advisory Board report.
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force held six public meetings throughout the Mississippi River Basin to inform the public of the progress of the reassessment of the Action Plan. The draft Action Plan received over 750 public comments.
The 2008 Action Plan greatly increases accountability and specificity through the inclusion of an Annual Operating Plan and Annual Reports to maintain and track progress between reassessments, state-led nutrient reduction strategies, complementary federal strategies, and an outreach plan to engage many stakeholders.
Eleven key actions in the 2008 Action Plan outline critical needs to complete and implement nitrogen and phosphorus reduction strategies, promote effective conservation practices and management practices, track progress, reduce existing scientific uncertainties, and promote effective communications to increase awareness of Gulf hypoxia.
Annual Operating Plans
One of the major improvements of the 2008 Action Plan is the inclusion of five Annual Operating Plans, one for each year through the next reassessment, that are valuable tools that will provide short-term roadmaps to maintaining forward progress towards the goals of the Action Plan.
Action Item 7 of the 2008 Action Plan requires that the Task Force "track interim progress on the actions to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus by producing an annual report on federal and state program nutrient reduction activities and results." The first Annual Report is due to be completed soon, and will feature quantitative indicators to track water quality, conservation practices, and other trends, as well as success stories highlighting achievements of several state and federal members organizations of the Task Force.
For copies of the 2008 Action Plan, contact NSCEP:
When requesting copies, be sure to provide the title and publication number:
Publication #: 842K09001
Title: Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008
When citing the 2008 Action Plan, use the following text:
Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force. 2008. Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008 for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin. Washington, DC.