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Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative
The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative is an $80 million program that helps farmers pay for practices that will either reduce or filter the runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as sediment, into the basin’s water.

The runoff travels down the Mississippi River and increases the hypoxic zone, or dead zone, in the Gulf of Mexico that is almost void of oxygen.

The USDA provides 50 percent to 75 percent of the funding for participating produces. Louisiana producers are doing their part to reduce fertilizer and sediment runoff from agricultural land into waterways by planting buffer strips of grass between fields and ditches that naturally filter the runoff. They also monitor soil and nutrient loss and install natural and artificial controls like cover crops and control barriers that prevent runoff.

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Invasive Species and Marine Debris - Nearly 400 invasive species, from mussels and crabs to fish and seaweed, have been found on tsunami debris that has landed everywhere from Alaska to California and Hawaii.

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