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Craig Cox 300

Craig Cox has worked on land and water conservation for nearly 30 years for agencies that include the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Soil and water conservation expert Craig Cox to speak on agricultural runoff and water quality Feb. 24

Fourth lecture in the Moos Family Speaker Series sponsored by Freshwater Society and University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences

Contacts: Jeff Falk, University News Service, jfalk@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720
Patrick Sweeney, Freshwater Society, psweeney@freshwater.org, (763) 219-1261

February 14, 2011

Agricultural runoff – fertilizers and manure from cultivated fields and feedlots, and sediment washed away by erosion – pollutes many U.S. lakes and rivers. Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group will talk about the agricultural pollution problem and strategies for reducing it in a Moos Family Speaker Series lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the University of Minnesota's St. Paul Student Center, theater, 2017 Buford St., St. Paul.

A panel of Minnesota experts on agriculture and water quality will appear with Cox. The lecture, "Taking the Pollution out of Agricultural Production," is sponsored by the university's College of Biological Sciences and the Freshwater Society.

“There are a number of simple and highly effective practices that farmers can use to dramatically cut pollution while sustaining high levels of production,” Cox says. “Many farmers are already using these practices, but not nearly enough to clean up our lakes, rivers and streams. Poor public policy and institutional inertia stand in the way of getting the job done." 

The lecture, supported by an endowment honoring former university President Malcolm Moos, is free and open to the public. But seating is limited, and registration is required. To register, go to www.freshwater.org.

Cox has worked on land and water conservation for nearly 30 years for agencies that include the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. As senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, he coordinates the organization’s research and advocacy on agriculture, renewable energy and climate change.

The lecture will touch on conservation practices that can reduce agricultural runoff and current economic incentives that either encourage or discourage conservation. Cox will address a key public policy question: What anti-pollution costs should landowners and farm operators bear, and what land-use and management changes should be paid for by taxpayers?

Previous lecturers in the series have been: Robert Glennon, a University of Arizona law professor who has written two books on water sustainability; Hedrick Smith, an Emmy-winning  film maker who produced “Poisoned Waters,” a Public Broadcasting System “Frontline” documentary; and Louis J. Guillette Jr., an acclaimed wildlife biologist from the Medical University of South Carolina.

About the Freshwater Society
The Freshwater Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring people to value, conserve and protect all water resources. Located in Excelsior, Minn., adjacent to Lake Minnetonka, it has a long history of association with the University of Minnesota. For more information, go to www.freshwater.org.

Tags: College of Biological Sciences

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