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Agricultural Policy Review

Abstract

The presence of a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico caused by nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) coming from upstream watersheds continues to recur annually. As part of the 2008 action plan promulgated by the Hypoxia Task Force to address the problem, each state with major nutrient contributions to the Gulf was tasked with developing and implementing a nutrient reduction strategy. Most of the 12 states included have begun or completed their plans. A common theme among all states is the focus on voluntary adoption of the practices identified rather than a regulatory strategy.