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DALLAS (March 3, 2020) — Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $100,000 to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) under a cooperative agreement to support high-impact work to reduce nutrient losses from watersheds into the Gulf of Mexico.

“Reducing nutrient pollution draining from Mississippi River watersheds is vital to the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Through this grant, EPA is proud to support LDEQ’s efforts to accomplish this goal and protect aquatic life and vegetation.”

The grant will help LDEQ’s work to reduce the amount of soil nutrients that move from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River Basin into the Gulf of Mexico. In the gulf, these nutrients contribute to hypoxia, or a reduction in oxygen levels, which can be harmful to aquatic life and vegetation. The cooperative agreement will support LDEQ’s nutrient-reduction strategies, including water-quality monitoring and analysis in priority watersheds, and developing a pilot program to expand monitoring locations in Barataria Bay.

Pollution from excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water, or nutrient pollution, is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. Nutrient pollution has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and human health issues, and impacting the economy. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus can also travel thousands of miles to coastal areas where the effects of the pollution are felt in the form of massive dead zones, such as those in the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on nutrient pollution: https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution

For more information on EPA’s work in Louisiana: https://www.epa.gov/la

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