Walmart doing what State and Federal Program have failed to do

 

Iowa corn fertilizer-USDA NRCSFertilizer being spread on Iowa corn field. Courtesy USDA NRCSThe Gulf Restoration Network, and its partners, has tried for 15 years to get state and federal governments to work with farmers to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution flowing down the Mississippi River that causes the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.  Much of this pollution results from over application of fertilizer. The conservation community even asked Congress to require that as a condition of getting federal subsidies and conservation dollars, farmers be required to create plans would help them to reduce their use of fertilizer and implement practices reduce runoff of fertilizer into local waterbodies.  All of these efforts were met with resistance. As a result, the level pollution flowing down the river has not decreased at all and the Dead Zone continues.

Now, Walmart has begun an initiative to reduce fertilizer on 14 million acres of farmland by 2020 by requiring that suppliers of crops, including the big three -- wheat, corn, and soy -- to develop “fertilizer-optimization plans.”  Farmers have always said they want the market, rather than regulation, to drive their practices, and now they have it.

I find it sad, however, that a corporation like Walmart is taking action to protect the people and the environment from nutrient pollution when our federal and state agencies won’t.  In fact, states, including Louisiana and Florida are working to stop nitrogen and phosphorus pollution clean-up plans in the Chesapeake Bay!

Good for Walmart.  We are looking forward to hearing more details about this initiative and the cleaner water that could result.

Cyn is GRN's Executive Director

<--break->

Recent Posts

Santa Rosa Island is a gem along Florida’s Panhandle coast, with 52 miles of white...
Written by Christian Wagley
Thursday, 21 September 2017
Residents in East Biloxi continue to face unbearable living conditions due to a fiasco of...
Written by Howard Page
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
In my very first days as GRN’s new coastal organizer for Florida and Alabama, I...
Written by Christian Wagley
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Chef Ryan Prewitt of Peche set a new standard for seafood in New Orleans winning...
Written by Dustin Renaud
Monday, 11 September 2017
Restoration along the Pearl River is on many people’s minds these days, on several fronts...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Monday, 11 September 2017
In the last couple of months, Gulf Restoration Network has been sad to say goodbye...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 07 September 2017
This blog series has covered a variety of corals that live in the Gulf of...
Written by Hannah Leis
Wednesday, 30 August 2017

SHARE THIS PAGE