Advancing voluntary and market-based solutions for improving water quality in a manner that maximizes economic efficiency and maintains environmental integrity.
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.
These tables serve as a reference document containing the key design elements of nutrient trading programs in four Chesapeake Bay states: Maryland, Pennsylvania,
Virginia, and West Virginia.
This working paper evaluates the opportunities for Pennsylvania farms to sell nutrient credits in a proposed nutrient trading program in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
This working paper evaluates the opportunities for Maryland farms to sell nutrient credits in a proposed nutrient trading program in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The federal commitment to develop and support environmental markets could have national significance.
This working paper evaluates the opportunities for Virginia farms to sell nutrient credits in a proposed nutrient trading program in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
This working paper describes the rationale for nutrient trading in the Chesapeake Bay region and estimates the economic benefits, including potential benefits to the agriculture, wastewater, and stormwater sectors.
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.
This policy note provides an overview of the range of actions, policies, and institutions around the globe that address nutrient pollution and eutrophication.