News Releases from Region 05
EPA Awards Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant to Clarkson University for Monitoring Pollutants in Fish
CHICAGO -- The U.S Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, has received a $6.5 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to monitor pollutants in Great Lakes fish over the next five years. This EPA grant continues funding for the university's surveillance program to monitor Great Lakes fish for contamination from legacy pollutants such as PCBs, banned pesticides, mercury and from emerging chemicals of concern like flame retardants and personal care products.
"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," said Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. "The data gathered through this study will help to identify contaminants that pose risks to wildlife and human health."
In collaboration with other state and federal programs, Clarkson University will use EPA's grant to develop state-of-the-art capability to identify and quantify pollutants in fish. The university will also expand the list of target chemicals to assess contaminant transfer through the food chain. This work will result in a clearer picture of the impact of human activity on the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
"This investment will help provide the necessary resources to monitor pollutants in and around our lakes," said U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. "The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will help update Clarkson University's research programs to monitor the presence of pollutants, stepping up our efforts to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we use around us."
"Protecting our Great Lakes is important to our North Country community and I am pleased that Clarkson University has been awarded this grant," said U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik. "In Congress I am proud to cosponsor the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act - bipartisan legislation to protect these natural treasures. Our environment is our life blood in upstate New York and this grant will go a long way to helping the important work and research being done at Clarkson University to protect the Great Lakes."
"We are excited about continuing our collaborative work with EPA to assess pollutant concentrations and trends in the Great Lakes," said Tom Holsen, Associate Director of the Clarkson University Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science. "Over the next five years we'll be adding new state-of-the art analytical instruments to help identify both current and emerging contaminants, such as flame retardants, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, present in the Great Lakes ecosystem. With these additional capabilities, the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program will continue its status as a world leader in the science of contaminant cycling in aquatic ecosystem."
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.
Information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is available at: http://www.glri.us/.
More information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding is available at: http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/glri.