Open Access

Overlooked Benefits of Nutrient Reductions in the Mississippi River Basin

Bryan Parthum and Amy W. Ando


Improvements in local surface water quality in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) can contribute to the regional environmental goals of reducing hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. To inform estimates of the benefits of water quality policy, we use a choice experiment survey in a typical subwatershed of the MRB to estimate willingness to pay for local environmental improvements and helping to reduce hypoxia far downstream. We find that residents place large values on reduced local algal blooms, improved local fish populations and diversity, and meeting local commitments to help with the regional environmental problem. (JEL Q52, Q53)

This open access article is distributed under the terms of the CC-BY-NC-ND license ( and is freely available online at: