Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Major Professor

Dr. Andrew Price-Smith.

Keywords

Hypoxia, Economic interests, Conflict, Action plan, Marine policy

Abstract

The Action Plan for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico represents the first national attempt to address this environmental issue. Hypoxia is the condition of low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in a body of water. This condition leads to a so-called dead zone and potentially threatens industries dependent on the living marine resources of this area. The potential impact of any policy or plan designed to combat hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico could have significant impacts on stakeholder groups, specifically the fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico, and the agriculture and fertilizer industries in the Midwest. This thesis examines the influence of the relative economic power of the aforementioned industries on the development of effective policy to mitigate hypoxia. The relative economic power of the agriculture and fertilizer industries has significantly impacted the development and efficacy of this plan.

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