Ecosystem Services


Best Management Practices for Water Quality

Nutrient runoff from agriculture and other sources in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) impacts local water quality and contributes to the annual formation of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The Lower Mississippi River Basin (LMRB) is intensely cultivated and contributes a significant portion of the nutrients delivered annually to the Gulf; although the region encompasses less than 9% of the area of the MRB the LMRB delivers an estimated 11% of the nitrogen and 23% of the phosphorus to the Gulf each year.

Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) such as cover crops, restored wetlands, reduced tillage and nutrient management can reduce the loss of nutrients and sediment, and mitigate the environmental impacts of agriculture.