The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just awarded Clarkson University a $6.5 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant. The Potsdam, New York school will use the grant to monitor pollutants in Great Lakes fish over the course of the next five years.
The funding extends Clarkson's pre-existing wildlife surveillance program, which monitors Great Lakes wildlife for any signs of contamination from PCBs, banned pesticides, mercury, flame retardants, and personal care products.
The EPA's Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said of the grant that "This new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used to expand efforts to track the levels of pollutants in fish at 10 sites throughout the Great Lakes basin," adding that "the data gathered through this study will help to identify contaminants that pose risks to wildlife and human health."
In addition to its own programs, Clarkson University will use the grant in collaboration with state and federal programs to develop new technologies to better identify and quantify these pollutants. The EPA and university hope that these efforts will ultimately result in a more vivid picture of the impact of human activity on the Great Lakes ecosystem.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was first launched in 2010 in an effort to accelerate pre-existing efforts to protect and restore key parts of the lakes.
If your community or organization has received a grant of this magnitude for large scale environmental clean-up or other efforts, you should consider partnering with environmental consultants who can help you create and implement strategic plans to maximize your efficiency.