Tulane University partners with federal agencies to combat Gulf of Mexico dead zone

November 1, 2013

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Tulane University is partnering with several federal agencies and private institutions to offer three $5,000 awards for the best solutions to combat nutrient pollution – the cause of the Gulf of Mexico’s annual dead zone.    

Ideas for Challenging Nutrients: Transformative Strategies for Reducing Excess Nutrients in Waterways can be submitted to: The Challenge closes Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Ideas can range from exploratory research to completely developed innovations. Tulane also plans to announce a larger monetary grand prize challenge in the next few months for solutions that have demonstrated they “can work in the field,” says Rick Aubry, Tulane’s assistant provost for Social Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement.

“With the Challenging Nutrients prize we have the opportunity to partner with some of the leading authorities to discover great ideas, help catalyze awareness and identify the problem solvers who we hope will join us in our grand challenge,” Aubry says.            

Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture and urban runoff, sewage treatment plants, septic systems and fossil fuel combustion regularly flow into rivers and other water bodies, leading to drinking water contamination, harmful algal blooms and fish kills.    Nutrient pollution costs the United States more than $2 billion each year and significantly affects human health, recreation and the economy. In Louisiana’s Gulf the full impact of nitrogen pollution has lead to “dead zones,” which threaten the way of life for Gulf communities.      

In addition to Tulane, the partnership for Challenging Nutrients: Transformative Strategies for Reducing Excess Nutrients in Waterways includes the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Everglades Foundation and the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000