The Hypoxia Task Force (HTF) held its Fall 2013 meeting in Minneapolis on September 23 – 25, 2013. Development and implementation of nutrient reduction strategies for all 12 HTF states continues to be a top priority. Three states have completed the development phase and are implementing their strategies. Another three states have released draft strategies for public review and comment Most of the other HTF states expect to complete draft strategies by the end of this calendar year.
Another HTF priority is reaching out to partners with organizations with similar goals. Although a number of potential partner organizations were on the agenda, the first group the HTF contacted is the Land Grant Universities, with a goal of strengthening cooperation. As a first step, representatives of both groups are working to finalize a Memorandum of Agreement aimed at better coordination among the MS River Basin Land Grants themselves and each HTF state.
At the Fall 2013 meeting, there were also presentations from private foundations that are providing significant funding to control nutrient pollution in the Basin, such as the McKnight Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. They are interested in promoting innovation, and in exploring opportunities to incentivize risk-reducing behavior in the agricultural community. The HTF plans to continue the conversation with the foundations, and reach out to other groups with similar goals.
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