A new online guide to water quality trading can help farms, utilities and other businesses cut pollution and restore U.S. waters to their swimmable, fishable best.
Blog Posts: nutrient trading
The Gulf of Mexico has the largest dead zone in the United States and the second-largest in the world. Dead zones form when excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous wash into waterways and spur algal blooms, depleting the water of oxygen and killing fish, shrimp, and other marine life. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone can range between an astounding 3,000 and 8,000 square miles. At its largest, it’s about the size of Massachusetts.
Reducing this growing dead zone problem is a huge scientific, technical, economic, and political challenge. It’s a conundrum that agricultural and environmental experts from across the United States will deliberate this week at the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
One new approach they’ll discuss is voluntary nutrient trading. According to a new study conducted by WRI staff for the EPA, this strategy could be used in the Mississippi River Basin to cost-effectively reduce nitrogen and phosphorous pollution and shrink the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
- LEARN MORE: Download the full study on the economic feasibility of nutrient trading in the Mississippi River Basin.
The federal commitment to develop and support environmental markets could have national significance.
A new Fact Sheet on nutrient trading in the Chesapeake Bay region covers issues such as potential costs and revenues, and how farmers and other stakeholders can benefit.
Presidential intervention has raised the stakes in a decades-long effort to clean up Chesapeake Bay.