Friday, April 4, 2014

April 11 Capitol Hill Briefing: Trends in Nutrients and Pesticides in the Nation’s Rivers

Friday, April 11, 2014
10:00 to 11:30 AM

Capitol Visitors Center Congressional Meeting Room South

The Northeast Midwest Institute and Water Environment Federation (WEF) invite you to a briefing on the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program’s findings of trends in nutrients and pesticides in streams and rivers. The briefing will primarily focus on the Mississippi River Basin, which covers about 40% of the nation and represents a wide range of important climatic, agricultural, and urban influences that are present throughout the country.  Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI-3) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA-8) are sponsoring the event.  Rep. Kind is is founder and co-chair of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Congressional Task Force, and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on the Mississippi River.

As Congress debates federal activities and funding for water-quality protection and restoration efforts, it is critical to know how conditions are actually changing over time and to understand why changes have occurred. Have governmental actions been effective or are other influences causing the changes? For example, from NAWQA monitoring, we now know that nitrate loadings from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico increased 14 percent from 1980 to 2010 despite extensive efforts to improve and expand the use of urban and agricultural management
Regional Assessments of Nutrient Sources and
Transport to Streams, Reservoirs, and Estuaries
practices during the period. Why? From its analyses of the data, NAWQA has determined that pesticide concentrations in streams and rivers change as chemical use changes, as regulations controlling use are issued, and as new or improved products become available.

The briefing will also include information about efforts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) to trace the health of the Nation’s valuable estuaries and will explain how information learned from NAWQA’s monitoring and assessments make estuarine protection more effective.

Speakers for this event include:
  • Alan Vicory, Principal, Stantec Consulting and Chair, WEF Government Affairs Committee, Moderator 
  • Lori Sprague, NAWQA Surface-Water Trends Coordinator 
  • Suzanne Bricker, NOAA Coastal and Oceanographical Assessment Status and Trends Branch 
Following presentations by the two speakers, there will be time for questions and discussion from the audience.

This briefing is held in cooperation with the USGS Office of Water Quality and the National Water-Quality Assessment Program and is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP to If you do not respond, you must show a picture ID at the Capitol Visitors Center.  For more information, contact Bill Wilber at or 703-648-6878.

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