Wednesday, December 05, 2007

EPA Grant for River Studies Thru MSU

The Passaic River basin will acquire a new crop of environmental stewards thanks to an environmental education grant awarded today to Montclair State University. At a ceremony in Branch Brook Park, EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg presented a $39,888 check to Dr. Susan A. Cole, President of Montclair State University, and Dr. Kirk Barrett, Director of Montclair State University’s Passaic River Institute. The Institute is training teachers and high school students to study the ecology and quality of the Passaic River waters.

Under the Montclair State Passaic River Institute’s program, local high school teachers and students in New Jersey's Passaic River basin will study and monitor river-bottom plants and animals and test water quality in the Passaic River. Students will acquire the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to understand how rivers are affected by urbanization, industrialization and other causes of pollution. The new river stewards will learn what can be done to protect river water quality and how they can protect the river’s ecosystems. The project will include teacher training, field trips to learn about and conduct water monitoring, a hands-on environmental education program, and a project web site that will serve as an information clearinghouse and repository, resource center, and virtual meeting place.

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