February 14, 2014

Good Morning: 

Imagine an area in the Gulf of Mexico approximately the size of New Jersey that is so low in oxygen virtually no marine life can live within it. Unfortunately, this dead zone is no figment of the imagination. It is real and grows larger every year. Its cause is hypoxia, oxygen-depleted water created primarily by excessive amounts of river-borne fertilizers and other nutrients entering the Gulf. What enhances life in the Midwest can suffocate it downriver. 

With Tulane's uptown, downtown and West Bank campuses located so close to the banks of the Mississippi River, the main conduit of the Gulf's nutrient pollution, the dead zone is a global problem that sweeps past our very doorstep. On Monday, I will announce a major effort to combat this problem by tapping into the genius of entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors worldwide. This effort will be funded by a Board of Tulane member and longtime advocate of market-driven solutions to major environmental and social problems. Farmers, business leaders, government partners and elected officials from the upper Mississippi River basin to its mouth are joining in to help.

This kind of endeavor represents Tulane at its best and exemplifies our commitment to social innovation and building sustainable communities. We mean it when we say our mission is nothing short of building a better world. Reducing hypoxia will not only help the Gulf, it will improve life in water regions around the world. Be sure to check out Monday's New Wave for more details about this exciting announcement.

Have a great weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638