For Immediate Release
October 1, 2015
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The College at Brockport Receives $1.2 Million EPA Grant to Conduct Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring
Brockport receives a share of a $10 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Award
BROCKPORT, NY—The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $10 million five-year grant to continue implementation of EPA's Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program. Central Michigan University is the lead institution on a project team that includes The College at Brockport, State University of New York, and other institutions and agencies. The project team will work on coastal wetlands monitoring around the Great Lakes basin. Central Michigan University had previously been awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for the first five years of this long-term EPA program. Brockport will use about $1.2 million of the grant money to monitor wetlands along the shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
“Wetlands provide enormous environmental benefits, and help in alleviate harmful effects of climate change, such as protecting against flooding and potentially dangerous storm surges,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “This Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used to gather data that will help identify areas where wetlands need better protection, allowing for more targeted preservation and restoration efforts.”
The institutions and agencies working on this project will continue to implement a coastal wetland monitoring program throughout the Great Lakes basin while simultaneously evaluating ongoing and future restoration efforts. Project managers will assess fish, invertebrates, birds, amphibians and plants, along with chemical and physical attributes, throughout the majority of the lakes’ coastal wetland areas. Work activities include sampling of selected wetlands for five years, data entry, data quality control, data management, and construction of a publicly accessible web-based data portal. The data and the results will be used to prevent further degradation and loss through future wetland protection.
Restoration managers will be provided access to the data generated by this project as well as expert opinions on how monitoring results can guide future restoration activities.
"The new funding will allow the wetlands team at The College at Brockport to assist in follow-up studies at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers restoration project at Braddock Bay and new USFWS projects at Long Pond, Buck Pond, and Salmon/West Creek that will begin this Fall and for which pre-restoration data were collected under the initial program,” says Douglas Wilcox, Brockport’s Empire Innovation Professor of Wetland Science. “In addition to support for restoration projects and monitoring of overall wetland health (including early detection of invasive species), large grants such as this provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students on the wetlands team to get extensive field training that is critical in career development."
Other institutions and agencies collaborating with Central Michigan University and SUNY Brockport on this grant include University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Wisconsin campuses of Green Bay and River Falls, Lake Superior State University, University of Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University, University of Windsor, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the US Geological Survey, Environment Canada, and Bird Studies Canada.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative resources are used to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu