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A Workshop:. Science to Support Management Decisions Related to Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin . Herb Buxton, US Geological Survey. Task Force Organization. Task Force Coordinating Committee (Implementation) Finance/Budget Workgroup

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A Workshop:

Science to Support

Management Decisions Related to Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin

Herb Buxton, US Geological Survey

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Task Force Organization

Task Force

  • CoordinatingCommittee (Implementation)

    • Finance/Budget Workgroup

    • Monitoring, Modeling and Research Workgroup

    • Management Response Workgroup

      • Point Sources

      • Non Point Sources

      • Restoration

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Workshop Objective

Develop a Monitoring, Modeling and Research (Science) Strategy in Support of the Task Force Action Plan.

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The Science Strategy

A strategy to provide and maintain the scientific information needed to implement the adaptive management framework defined in the Action Plan.

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  • Management

  • Implementation

  • (Improved),

  • Monitoring,

  • Interpretation (including modeling),

  • Periodic Reporting (including

  • public education), and

  • Research to improve knowledge

  • and methods.

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Our Tasks

  • Review the Management Questions.

  • Compile information on existing activities that contribute to essential monitoring, modeling and research activities;

  • Identify information gaps and the activities needed to fill those gaps; and

  • Identify coordination mechanisms to assure that information is gathered and delivered to support decision-making.

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What are the major sources and causes of excess nutrients within the Mississippi River Basin?

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Management Questions


How are Gulf hypoxia and the associated adverse effects exacerbated by specific causal factors and what are the determining mechanisms?

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What are the social and economic impacts of deterioration in water quality (nutrients) in the Mississippi Basin and increased hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico?

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Guiding Principles

  • Adaptive Management.

  • Design monitoring to serve sub-basin management implementation strategies.

  • Make maximum use of all ongoing activities.

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Davis Pond Diversion

Guiding Principles

  • Take a comprehensive Management approach that utilizes all contributing mitigating

  • factors.

Reduce PS Discharges

Wetland Rest.


Farm N Management

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Guiding Principles

  • Consider all potential causal and mitigating factors.

  • Reduce uncertainties in measurements of adverse effects, causal factors, and underlying processes.

  • Design monitoring activities to support modeling and other planned interpretations.

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Guiding Principles

  • Modeling should extrapolate monitoring at representative sites across the Basin.

  • Periodic interpretations and reporting.

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Guiding Principles

  • Adopt a policy of broad information dissemination.

  • Assure that data and information are consistent and reliable (Quality Assurance).

  • Peer Review.

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Planning Groups

  • Watershed Monitoring and Reporting (Joe Engeln, MO DNR)

  • Watershed Modeling and Research (Rich Alexander, USGS)

  • Watershed Social and Economic Issues (Marc Ribaudo, USDA)

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Planning Groups

  • Gulf Monitoring and Reporting (Rex Herron, NOAA)

  • Gulf Modeling and Research (Kenric Osgood, NOAA)

  • Gulf Social and Economic Issues (Rita Curtis, NOAA)

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Workshop Agenda

  • Plenary Session

  • 6 Sessions (Planning Groups)

  • 2 Sessions (Watershed and Gulf)

  • 6 Sessions (Planning Groups)

  • 2 Sessions (Watershed and Gulf)

  • Plenary Session

  • Writing Team

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

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Workshop Steering Committee

  • Wayne Anderson (MN PCA)

  • Dale Bucks (USDA)

  • Herb Buxton* (USGS)

  • Joe Engeln (MO NRD)

  • Dennis McKenna (IL DOA)

  • Dugan Sabins (LA DEQ)

  • Don Scavia* (NOAA)

  • Chuck Spooner (USEPA)


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Workshop Follow-up

  • Writing Team meets Friday to develop draft Science Strategy.

  • Workshop progress presented at the Task Force Meeting (December 10th, near Washington D.C.).

  • See the WWW for workshop results:http://toxics.usgs.gov/hypoxia_mmr_workshop/

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What we do not expect to be doing?

  • Interpreting or reinterpreting data.

  • Evaluating contributions of various nutrient sources.

  • Debating the relative importance of causal factors of Hypoxia.

  • Discussing the best management actions to be taken.

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What we expect to be doing?

  • Designing a Strategy that:

  • Best facilitates those activities.

  • Is open to changes in approach dictated by new understanding.

  • Identifies and addresses areas of greatest scientific uncertainty.

  • Identifies areas of greatest resource needs.

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Think Broadly!

Think Incrementally!

Take advantage of intersections disciplines!