Senior policy director of Gulf Restoration Network to keynote confo

Keynote speaker for the 2014 Mississippi River Conference Oct. 15-17 will be Matt Rota, senior policy director for the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN).

At GRN, he advocates for healthy waters throughout the Gulf of Mexico region and works with Mississippi River Basin organizations to promote policies that will reduce the so-called "Dead Zone," caused by pollution flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Rota currently focuses on water pollution issues in Louisiana, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico, seeking adequate policies regarding the BP oil-drilling disaster, wetlands, water quality, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to protect and restore waters of the Gulf of Mexico region.

He is co-chair of the Nutrients Workgroup for the Mississippi River Collaborative and has given numerous presentations on water pollution issues at professional and technical conferences throughout the country.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in ecology, evolutionary, and organismal biology at Tulane University and his master's degree in earth and environmental resources management at the University of South Carolina.