The federal and state co-chairs of the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force make a number of important points in their editorial (“State and federal leaders are working on water quality,” July 21). The cooperative effort to reduce nutrient loads in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and the Gulf of Mexico involves 12 states, key federal agencies, and private sector partners. Their collaboration has had some positive results. To reach the nutrient reduction goals to which the federal government and the states have committed themselves, however, more resources are needed.
We look to Congress for a large portion of those resources. In addition to fully funding Farm Bill Conservation Programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and other federal efforts, Congress needs to provide more help for the Hypoxia Task Force states. These states were promised federal assistance almost 20 years ago for nutrient reduction actions. Iowa is one of the states who have put money on the table through their legislature and private sectors. Receiving additional federal fiscal support is not only reasonable but necessary to change the trend of nutrient loading in the basin.
Director, Mississippi River Network