SS4.11 Water and Society - Science and Management in a Social and Economic Context
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 2:15:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
ScaviaD, NOAA National Ocean Service, Silver Sping, USA, don.scavia@noaa.gov
 
REDUCING HYPOXIA IN THE GULF OF MEXICO - LESSONS FROM THE SCIENCE-POLICY INTERFACE
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A new Action Plan for reducing nutrient loads from the Mississippi River watershed to reduce Gulf of Mexico hypoxia reflects the accumulated scientific evidence that increased nitrogen load over the past 50 years is the primary driving factor, and that nutrient control strategies more than 1000 km from the coast are key. The Action Plan has as a goal, to reduce the size of the hypoxic area from the current 5-year average of 15,000 sq. km to less than 5,000 by the year 2015. This will likely require at least a 30% reduction in nitrogen loads. This achievement of reaching this significant Federal-State-Tribal agreement was due significantly to the role played by science and the scientists engaged in a formal process of Integrated Assessment. The science behind the Action Plan, the key attributes of an effective Integrated Assessment, and the dynamics at the science-policy interface will be reviewed in the context of lessons that can be shared.