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MU joins task on water quality of Mississippi River

Christine Karim
Creative Commons
A coalition of environmental groups has filed two lawsuits against the EPA on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, seeking to limit nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico.

                Researchers at the University of Missouri are working towards improving water quality throughout the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.

MU was one of 12 universities to partner with the EPA’s Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force to reduce nutrient loss in the water. A framework is now in place for MU to serve as a greater collaborator of the various states that are tasked with developing nutrient reduction strategies. The universities will all play an active role in improving water quality along the Mississippi River by coordinating methods and information. Jason Hubbart, Associate Professor of Hydrology and Water Quality, is a research representative at MU along with  Bob Broz, an Extension State Water Quality Specialist.

“Coordinating the efforts so that we’re all pulling the rope in the same direction by means of performing research in similar ways so that we can compare outcomes or coming  up with methods to translate what information that we have is one of the major goals of this new initiative,” Hubbart said.

Broz is contributing to the effort in improving water quality by increasing awareness and implementing new practices in the community to reduce hypoxia.

“One of the things we begin with is to help people understand what causes water pollution, whether it’s soil sediment runoff, nutrients or pesticides. Then we look at what practices we can implement to reduce the potential of nutrients running off the land itself,” Broz said.

The new initiative incorporates both research and implementation of the research. Hubbart says the beauty of the program is that they’re hitting the issue of hypoxia in water from both sides.

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