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Right practice, right place: A conservation planning toolbox for meeting water quality goals in the Corn Belt

Eileen McLellan, Keith Schilling, Calvin Wolter, Mark Tomer, Sarah Porter, Joe Magner, Douglas Smith, Linda Prokopy
Journal of soil and water conservation 2018 v.73 no.2 pp. 29A-34A
United States Environmental Protection Agency, agricultural land, drinking water, hypoxia, liver, microcystins, nutrients, planning, water quality, watersheds, Corn Belt region, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River, Ohio
On August 2, 2014, the residents of Toledo, Ohio, were warned that their drinking water was potentially contaminated with microcystin, an algal-related toxin that can cause various illnesses and liver damage, and unsafe to drink (Bullerjahn et al. 2016). They were the latest victims of a series of water quality crises in the United States, many (including the Toledo event) attributable in large part to nutrients lost from agricultural landscapes. Meanwhile, hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico continues unabated (USEPA 2015), with the 2017 dead zone being the largest recorded (NOAA 2017). In response to these crises, states in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes drainage basins are undertaking ambitious efforts to achieve 40% to 45% reductions in nutrient losses from agriculture.