Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative

Mar 25, 2015 (Last modified Jul 19, 2016)
Created by Michael Schwartz
Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative

About

The primary purpose of this group is to disseminate spatial data and other resources to members of the Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative and other interested parties.

AFTER A USER REGISTERS ON THE DATA BASIN SITE AND JOINS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN/GULF HYPOXIA INITIATIVE GROUP, THEY CAN VIEW ALL OF THE GROUP'S CONTENT, BOOKMARK DATA LAYERS, AS WELL AS CREATE AND SAVE MAPS.  TO JOIN THE GROUP, CLICK THE "JOIN GROUP" BUTTON ON THIS PAGE.

The Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative (MRB/GHI), spearheaded by seven Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, is using Structured Decision Making (SDM) to create an integrated framework that supports resource planning and delivery in the Mississippi River Basin with multiple benefits for fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, and agricultural productivity. This framework consists of multiple quantitative objectives representing three interests (wildlife, water quality, agriculture), a tiered set of conservation strategies to achieve those objectives within five production agriculture systems (corn and soybean; grazing lands; floodplain forest; rice; and cotton), and a modeling approach to determine where to best implement those actions within four key ecological systems of the Mississippi River Basin (i.e., headwater row crop fields; upland prairies; mid-sized riparian streams; and mainstem floodplains).

The GHI team first narrowed the initial scope of implementation from the entire Mississippi River Basin to a smaller area (the Water Quality Priority Zone) based on the potential for nutrient export from agricultural areas.  Within this Zone, smaller areas have been identified for more detailed analyses based on the alignment of agricultural production systems, habitat systems, and conservation priorities. Data shared in this group is being used to create a Landscape Conservation Design (MRB/GHI LCD Conservation Blueprint v1.0) that will incorporate multiple data layers for each focal system to identify priority areas for conservation actions and suggest which actions will have the greatest impact on wildlife, water quality, and agriculture considering limited budgets and future changes in climate and commodity prices.

The Initiative’s planning team believes that there is a conservation opportunity to complement ongoing efforts by utilizing wildlife habitat management actions focused on priority areas identified in existing regional and national conservation plans. By aligning complementary programs and convergent objectives, there may be opportunities to leverage the strengths of different agencies and organizations, reduce duplication of effort, and increase the efficiency of conservation delivery across critical planning areas, thereby improving habitat and reducing nutrient loss from watersheds. This effort is intended to be complementary to related on-going efforts, like the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force, Mississippi River Basin Initiative, and state nutrient reduction initiatives, but with an added emphasis on the ecological and social values of wildlife habitat.

The report detailing the development and organization of the Conservation Blueprint that forms the spatial analysis component of the Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative is available on the Mississippi River Basin/Gulf Hypoxia Initiative Precision Conservation Blueprint website.  This site also contains a user guide with specific guidance on how to access and utilize the Blueprint using the  Data Basin and Science Base web services as well as a data dictionary for  Conservation Blueprint v1.02, which details sources and types of data compiled for the Blueprint's 200+ GIS layers.

Additional information about the Initiative is available here.  

Image: NASA/Creative Commons
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Group Members (49)