Expressing Support for Continued Federal-State Effort to Reduce Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone

WHEREAS, the annual zone of low oxygen or hypoxia that forms off Louisiana’s coast remains one of the largest such areas in the world; and

WHEREAS, the spread of low oxygen in Louisiana’s coastal waters can impede the life cycle and migration of estuarine species, in addition to killing bottom dwelling species that form an important part of the Gulf food chain; and

WHEREAS, the Gulf Hypoxic Zone can at times negatively impact commercial and recreational fishing and shrimping operations by necessitating longer travel times, in addition to posing a threat to the long-term sustainability of the coastal fishery; and

WHEREAS, the state of Louisiana has since 1997 been a participant in the federal-state Gulf Hypoxia Task Force which serves as the national response to this problem, working in a cooperative framework with upriver states and federal agencies to carry out the Action Plan for Reducing Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the trend of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico remains one of growth, as recorded by the annual summer mapping cruise carried out by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) each year since 1985; and

WHEREAS, the 2015 Revision of this Action Plan commits the states and agencies on the Task Force to work together to achieve a 20% reduction in nutrient loading from the Mississippi-Atchafalaya Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico by 2025, as a critical milestone towards reducing the average annual size of the hypoxic zone to 5000 square kilometers (1950 square miles) by 2035; and

WHEREAS, in 1995 the Louisiana Wildlife Federation called for development of a plan to reduce the spread of Gulf Hypoxia by reducing nutrient loading from the Mississippi River Basin, and endorsed the Action Plan and continuation of the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force in 2001.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation hereby reaffirms its support for continuation of the federal-state Task Force and partners in the public and private sectors to reduce the Gulf Hypoxic Zone, through achieving the goals of the Action Plan for Reducing Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, and continuation of the annual LUMCON Gulf Hypoxia Mapping Cruise as a critical scientific measure of progress in these efforts.

Submitted By: John Miller, District 6 At-large Director
LWF Committee: Habitat Conservation and Management
Resolution #:7B, 2017
Date Proposed:08/19/2017
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