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News and Reports > Water Quality Improving in the Delta

After a report from the EPA identified more miles of polluted waters in Mississippi than in any other state in the country, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) began to develop a strategy to address the problem. The strategy became known as the “Basin Management Approach.” The methodology allowed MDEQ to focus all fiscal and technical resources in one of five different areas per year on a continuous-five year rotation. The Delta region was included in what MDEQ coined as the Yazoo Basin.





MDEQ developed an advisory group in each of the five basins to plan and prioritize future efforts. The Yazoo Basin Team consisted of natural resource professionals who where familiar with the region and local water quality concerns. Over the course of a year, the Yazoo Basin Team, lead by MDEQ, had laid a foundation by which MDEQ could empower local citizens and groups to address water quality issues at the local level.




When the Basin Management Approach was unveiled at MDEQ in 1999, Richard Ingram was appointed to serve as the Yazoo River Basin Coordinator. “MDEQ realized that local citizens and groups, in partnership with state and federal resource agencies, could solve local problems much more efficiently than we could by ourselves. Our ultimate strategy simply combines the expertise of local state and federal resource professionals and the interests of local stakeholders to address concerns in their own backyards.” Richard now serves as the Chief of the Basin Management Branch at MDEQ.




After the Yazoo River Basin Team developed its priorities in the region, local groups began to develop comprehensive watershed plans. Each plan identifies water quality concerns within a priority watershed and identifies strategies for addressing the identified concerns. MDEQ often assisted with the process and helped identify potential funding sources.




Since the Basin Management Approach began nearly 10 years ago, MDEQ has facilitated the development and implementation many projects that have and will address water quality concerns in the Delta region. And while MDEQ deserves abundant credit, credit must also be given to local citizens and regional organizations who have taken the opportunity to be proactive in addressing water quality concerns in the Delta.






Yazoo Basin Watersheds Affected by the Basin Management Approach

  • Ascalmore/Tillatoba Creek
  • Bear Creek
  • Bee Lake
  • Buntyn Creek
  • Can-Mussacuna Creek
  • Coldwater River
  • Deer Creek
  • Hickahala Creek
  • Indian Bayou
  • Lake Washington
  • Moon Lake
  • Porters Bayou
  • Steele Bayou
  • Sunflower River
  • Tippah River
  • Wolf & Broad Lake



Participating Organizations and Agencies

  • City of Tchula
  • Deer Creek Watershed Association
  • Deer Creek Landowners Association
  • Delta Council
  • Delta F.A.R.M.
  • Delta Wildlife
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Entergy
  • FTN Associates
  • Lake Washington Homeowners Association
  • Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce
  • Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
  • Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
  • Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
  • Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission
  • Mississippi State Department of Health
  • Mississippi State University
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Washington County Board of Supervisors
  • YMD Joint Water Management District



Common BMPs Used to Address Water Quality in the Delta

  • Bank Stabilization
  • Grass Filter Strips
  • Riparian Forest Buffer
  • Sediment Retention Structure
  • Wetland Restoration