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Implementing the 2008 Action Plan

Implementation of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan (Action Plan) (2008) (PDF) (64 pp, 6.4MB) continues. In accordance with Action 7 of the Action Plan, the Task Force proudly announced the release of its first Annual Report in September of 2009, to track the interim progress on actions to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution accomplished in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. The 2009, 2010, and 2011 Annual Reports are available as PDFs to download below.

HTF Partnership with Land Grant Universities

The Hypoxia Task Force has partnered with HTF state land grant university research and extension faculty to support state-level strategies and actions to curb water pollution. Click here for more information about this partnership. The land grant universities involved in this partnership host an electronic newsletter and other information at the following website: Mississippi River Basin Conservation NetworkExit EPA Disclaimer. To learn more about the members of this group and the priority work they are conducting with the support of the Task Force Click Here Exit EPA Disclaimer. You may also download a copy of the HTF LGU Priorities for Collaborative Work (1-5 pp, 361KB, About PDF).

HTF Goals

In February 2015, the HTF announced that it would retain the original goal of reducing the areal extent of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone to less than 5,000 km2 and extend the time of attainment from 2015 to 2035. The HTF also for the first time agreed on an interim target of a 20 percent nutrient load reduction by the year 2025 as a milestone toward reducing the hypoxic zone to less than 5,000 km2 by the year 2035. For more details, read the February Press Release here, or download the full HTF Goal Framework (4 pp, 161KB, About PDF).

Reassessment 2013

Action 11 of the 2008 Action Plan called for a reassessment in five years. In response to Action Item 11, the HTF developed this 2013 reassessment to provide a snapshot of progress to date in implementing the other 10 action items in the 2008 Action Plan.

Annual Reports

The Annual Reports are designed to track interim progress on the actions taken to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya Basin (MARB). These reports document federal and state program nutrient reduction activities and the results of these activities. This consistent documentation should help the Task Force to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and management efforts and their combined effects on reducing the hypoxic zone and the in-basin effects of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. The first Annual Report was released in 2009.

Annual Operating Plans

The Annual Operating Plans are a compilation of actions that state and federal members of the Task Force have planned to undertake during the listed years to implement the Action Plan. Each item in the Operating Plans specifically implements one of the eleven action items set forth in the Action Plan. The Operating Plan includes, if known, funding levels and specific milestones for the current fiscal year. The items listed in the Operating Plans highlight the cumulative efforts of the individual Task Force agencies in implementing the Action Plan.

Other Initiatives

There are a growing number of organizations, companies, and foundations who are also doing their part to move forward on Gulf hypoxia. The Task Force promotes these efforts and encourages continued partnership building with these stakeholders.

Read about some of these initiatives and projects

Success Stories

Any environmental issue that covers the immense size and scope of the MARB and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico is bound to be laden with obstacles. Despite limited resources to address an ever-growing problem, the Task Force and its member federal and state agencies and the tribes have made progress through actions and programs that achieve direct reductions in nutrient pollution throughout the MARB. The Task Force is committed to continue to working towards the reduction of the hypoxic zone using the Annual Operating Plan as an implementation guide.

Learn more about these successful projects

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