Created under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states’ nutrient reduction strategy efforts, the US EPA has awarded the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s (ISDA) Soil Conservation District $1,713,333 through the Gulf Hypoxia Program.
The Gulf of Hypoxia Program strategies represent the state’s commitment to reducing nutrient runoff and ultimately improving water quality in Indiana rivers and streams, downstream in the Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. Although nutrients in the water system are essential for plant and animal life, an excess can cause water quality impairments such as oxygen-depleted water and hazardous algae blooms.
These funds will allow ISDA to support water quality improvement efforts through the Division of Soil Conservation and partnerships with other agencies. ISDA intends to increase the adoption of nutrient management strategies to minimize nutrient runoff and improve the efficiency of energy across the Hoosier state.
Purdue University will partner with the ISDA to create an Indiana Nutrient Research and Education Program (INREP) with the goal of the continued expansion of improved methods for nutrient management and determining best practice efficiency. Additional partners for this project include Indiana Conservation Partnership, Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance, Certified Crop Advisors, and landowners. These funds are expected to sustain efforts through September 2025 with future funds expected through the Gulf Hypoxia Program.