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02-22-2011

Researchers from Clarkson University, SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oswego to Recive $6.5 Million from EPA to Monitor Great Lakes Fish


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Clarkson University a $6.5 million five-year grant to continue its partnership with SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oswego to conduct the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program (GLFMSP). The EPA awarded this same partnership team $1.75 million in 2006 to provide chemical analysis of Great Lakes fish tissue. The funding is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Principal investigators Thomas M. Holsen, professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Clarkson; Philip K. Hopke, director of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment at Clarkson, and Bernard S. Crimmins in the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science at Clarkson are responsible for the overall management of the program . James Pagano, director, Environmental Research Center (ERC), Department of Chemistry at SUNY Oswego, and Michael Milligan, professor, Department of Chemistry at SUNY Fredonia are also principal investigators in this study.

The new funding will continue analysis for contaminants to assess temporal trends in organic compounds and mercury in open waters of the Great Lakes, using fish as biomonitors. During the next five years, researchers will obtain additional analytical instruments to help identify both current and emerging contaminants, such as flame retardants, present in the Great Lakes ecosystem. With these additional capabilities, the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program will be transformed into a world leader in the science of contaminant cycling in aquatic ecosystem.

"The magnitude of this project recognizes Clarkson University’s commitment to the quality of the natural environment in our region and the positive collaboration of the research team to maximize the scholarly expertise found in New York State laboratories at Clarkson, SUNY Oswego and SUNY Fredonia," said Clarkson President Tony Collins.

Together, this group will monitor temporal trends in bioaccumulative chemicals in the Great Lakes using top predator fish as biomonitors, screen for new compounds of concern entering the Lake eco-systems and assess the ecological health of the Great Lakes through interpretation of chemical analyses and other food web studies. This study will improve the understanding of pollutant impacts on the fishery and efforts to remediate and reduce pollutant sources. The study is planned to commence immediately and last for five years.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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