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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the launch of a new task force that will work to reduce water pollution from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The Hypoxia Task Force is a partnership between the EPA, environmental groups, state agencies and 12 universities and will aim to develop and implement strategies to cut nutrient pollution of waterways in the area.
As part of the task force the universities are already working on studies regarding various aspects of the problem, including soil conservation and water quality, as well as researching how nutrients travel through waterways. According to the EPA, academics and policy experts are collaborating on ways to put science into practice by offering education and training to local businesses, farmers and watershed management professionals.
Meanwhile, state agencies have been working with the universities located in their respective territories on water quality projects and agricultural programs. To date there has been no centralized effort to achieve common goals and no active interaction between the 12 states taking part in the task force. By joining forces, nutrient pollution will be tackled more efficiently at a state and federal level.
The 12 universities participating in the task force are the University of Illinois, University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, Ohio State University, Mississippi State University, University of Tennessee, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, Purdue University and Louisiana State University.