Coastal change and hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Part I
Abstract. The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) has identified the input of nutrient-rich water from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) as the prime cause of hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the prime means for its control. A Watershed Nutrient Task Force was formed to solve the hypoxia problem by managing the MARB catchment. However, the hypoxic zone is also experiencing massive physical, hydrological, chemical and biological changes associated with an immense river-switching and delta-building event that occurs here about once a millennium. Coastal change induced hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to European settlement. It is recommended that for further understanding and control of Gulf hypoxia the Watershed Nutrient Task Force adopt a truly holistic environmental approach which includes the full effects of this highly dynamic coastal area.