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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Task Force Convenes to Direct Future Work

NOAA is actively participating in the 23rd meeting of the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force in Des Moines, Iowa, September 11, 2012.  The Task Force provides executive level direction and support for coordinating scientific activities and actions on nutrient management within the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed.  NOAA research has demonstrated that nutrient management is critical for reducing the size of the summer hypoxic zone located off the coast of Louisiana and Texas.

Dr. Rob Magnien will represent NOAA on behalf of Administrator Jane Lubchenco and her official designee to the Task Force, Dr. Paul Sandifer, the Senior Science Advisor. Dr. Alan Lewitus will represent the agency on the Task Force’s Coordinating Committee and provide an update on the 2012 Gulf of Mexico dead zone and future plans for more robust monitoring to track its size. Both are from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the program that funds the annual dead zone forecast and its validation measurements.

Long-term research supported by NCCOS in the Gulf of Mexico has been used by the Task Force as the foundation for interagency management decisions including the development of Action Plans in 2001 and 2008.

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