|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
June 1, 2011
Contact: Robbie Wilbur
MDEQ TO ESTABLISH OFFICE IN STONEVILLE TO HAVE PRESENCE IN DELTA
(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is opening an office in Stoneville. Sam Mabry, a 35-year veteran MDEQ staff professional, will head the office, reporting directly to Executive Director Trudy Fisher, and will coordinate MDEQ water quantity and water quality activities in the Delta.
“We have needed a daily presence in the Delta to be accessible on a regular basis to deal with the multitude of natural resource issues that our state must address. The economy and quality of life of our Delta counties depends on the availability of adequate water supplies for agriculture. In addition, to reduce hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi along with other states in the upper and lower Mississippi River watersheds is working to reduce the quantities of nutrients getting into tributaries and eventually into the Gulf. Sam Mabry has a wealth of experience, knowledge, and contacts with various stakeholders after his years of service to MDEQ, and he is the right person to coordinate our efforts,” said Trudy D. Fisher, MDEQ Executive Director.
“The Delta water quality and quantity issues are serious and technically complex. Adequate solutions will require collaboration by a number of federal and state agencies, stakeholder organizations, and producers of different crops in areas of the Delta with differing groundwater and surface water issues. Failure to satisfactorily and timely address the water quality and quantity problems in the Delta would have serious consequences for agriculture and for industries and municipalities that discharge wastewater into Delta streams. I look forward to the challenges and rewards of this effort,” said Sam Mabry.
MDEQ regulates water withdrawals from groundwater and lakes, rivers, and streams in the Delta. Groundwater levels in the Delta are declining rapidly, especially in some parts of the central Delta. In addition, the agency implements several federally delegated programs to reduce the nutrient loads in Delta waters. Through various funding sources, the United States Department of Agriculture assists farmers in implementing management practices to help reduce nutrient loads and conserve water. The funds are awarded based on ranking criteria established at the state or county level within guidelines established nationally.
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