Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico and Managing Nutrient Loadings from the Mississippi River

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigators: Patrick L. Brezonik, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering; Victor J. Bierman, Jr., Limno-Tech Inc.; Richard Alexander, USGS; James Anderson, Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate and WRC Co-Director; John Barko and Mark Dortch, Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Lorin Hatch, University of Minnesota; Gary L. Hitchcock, University of Miami; Dennis Keeney, Iowa State University; David Mulla, University of Minnesota; Val Smith, University of Kansas; Clive Walker, Blackland Research Center; Terry Whitledge, University of Alaska; William J. Wiseman, Jr., Louisiana State University


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Project Duration: 

February 1998 - October 1999


Full Report

Hypoxia, or depleted dissolved oxygen (<2 mg/L), occurs seasonally in the northern Gulf of Mexico in the middle of one of the most important commercial and recreational fisheries in the lower 48 United States. The overall goal of this assessment was to evaluate how reduction of nutrients at their source would reduce the problem of oxygen depletion and affect water quality within the Mississippi River Basin and nearshore Gulf waters. Modeling analyses were conducted to aid in identifying magnitudes of load reductions needed to effect a significant change in the extent and severity of the hypoxia.