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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center - Mississippi
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Watershed Restoration & Protection Studies (319 Monitoring) - Harris and Porters Bayou
During the first half of 2008, forty-six Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load studies (TMDLs) were completed by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) in the Mississippi Delta (Delta) which calls for significant reductions in Total Nitrogen and Phosphorus loadings for those impaired waters to achieve their designated uses. Limited monitoring data were available for many of these during development of the TMDLs. During June 2008, the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Task Force released its Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008, which calls for significant reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus loadings to the Gulf. A fundamental action contained in the plan is the development of federal and state strategies to reduce nutrient loadings to the Gulf. Two main questions to be answered are:
The answers to these questions will be instrumental to understand the appropriateness of the load reduction targets contained in the TMDLs and whether future recalibration efforts are needed. The answers will also provide valuable information to Mississippi’s Nutrient Criteria Development Team in its efforts to develop appropriate nutrient criteria recommendations in the future. Two watersheds are targeted for future nutrient reduction efforts; Harris Bayou and Porters Bayou. USGS will partner with MDEQ, Delta F.A.R.M. and the USACE to conduct monitoring in these watersheds for the purpose of addressing the above questions with regard to nutrient loading reductions. Data collection activities will include sampling for various water chemistry and physical attributes including, but not limited to, sediment, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and flow. In addition, benthic macroinvertebrate community samples will be collected according to MDEQ procedures.
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