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Penn State to lead Atlantic Slope Consortium with a $6 million grant from U.S. EPA

University Park, Pa. --- With the aid of a $6 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, researchers from Penn States Environmental Resources Research Institute will lead a consortium in an integrated assessment of the watersheds and estuaries across the Atlantic Slope, an area that includes New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Natural scientists and social managers will join forces with environmental managers from the region to develop, test, and apply a set of biological, chemical, physical and socioeconomic indictors to measure the health of wetlands, streams, rivers and estuaries in the region. Participants in the consortium include the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, East Carolina University, Environmental Law Institute and FTN Associates.

The Atlantic Slope Consortium is one of only four programs funded nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys STAR Grants Program.

Dr. Robert P. Brooks, director of the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center, is the consortium project director. He says, We have assembled a talented team of researchers to develop the indicators necessary to conduct this integrated assessment. We are excited about the opportunities to collaborate across so many disciplines and to apply these assessment tools across a very large geographic area.

Fifteen Penn State researchers are scheduled to participate. Environmental Resources Research Institute participants include Dr. Denice Wardrop, assistant director of the Cooperative Wetlands Center and research associate; Dr. James Shortle, professor of agricultural economics and rural sociology; Dr. Robert O'Connor, assistant professor of political science; and Egide Nizeyimana, ERRI senior research associate.

The population explosion along the coasts of the United States has put enormous pressure on estuarine ecosy
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Contact: Barbara Hale
bah@psu.edu
814-865-9581
Penn State
3-May-2001


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