A field without cover crop. Photo courtesy of Morehouse Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance recently received a grant for more than $1.4 million from the Gulf of Mexico Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will be used to improve water quality in northeast Louisiana.

As part of the project, farmers will learn how to adopt innovative farming practices that can decrease nutrient runoff while also enhancing the farmers’ cash crop. When excessive runoff from farms enters into local waterways, it can negatively impact wildlife, human usage (such as fishing and swimming) and water quality down to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone.

This project will take place in the Bayou Lafourche watershed, along Upper Bayou Galion and Bayou Coulee, and will continue through 2026.

In addition to local farmers, the Alliance is working with state agency partners to implement the project, including the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry/Office of Soil and Water Conservation, and Morehouse Soil and Water Conservation District.

The project will also include educational components as well as research into how to prevent runoff from contributing to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxia zone.

“This funding will bring critical health protections and economic opportunities to the communities in the Gulf who have been overburdened by pollution,” said Acting Region 4 EPA Administrator Jeaneanne M. Gettle. “We look forward to seeing transformative projects that will work to advance protection and restoration of this vital watershed.”

“A multi-faceted project like this touches on several of our priority issues, from improving water quality in and around the Gulf to supporting underserved communities and creating habitat for wildlife,” said Laura Bowie, executive director for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. “Thank you to EPA and to our partners for supporting important projects like this.”


About the Gulf of Mexico Division of the EPA

The Gulf of Mexico Division is a non-regulatory program of EPA founded to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the region. To carry out its mission, the Gulf of Mexico Division continues to maintain and expand partnerships with state and federal agencies, federally recognized tribes, local governments and authorities, academia, regional businesses and industries, agricultural and environmental organizations, and individual citizens and communities.

For more information visit: www.epa.gov/gulfofmexico