Great Lakes research

With a grant from the Great Lakes Research Consortium, Rachel Schultz, Ph.D., (right) of State University College at Brockport, and graduate student Courtney Scoles are assessing the effects of cattail treatment on methane emissions from Lake Ontario coastal wetlands.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Great Lakes Research Consortium have $125,000 available in grants to support Great Lakes projects.

The 2020 Great Lakes Research Consortium small grants program will provide up to $25,000 for projects that contribute to the protection and restoration of the health of New York’s Great Lakes and to ecosystem-based management.

“The health of New York’s Great Lakes Basin natural resources and communities are threatened by our changing climate, legacy toxic pollutants, invasive species, harmful algal blooms, and environmentally destructive land use practices. It’s imperative that we work to advance our fundamental understanding of the science needed to develop management policies and practices for the Great Lakes,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This funding will help support a variety of projects that will benefit the Great Lakes region’s natural resources and the communities that depend on them.”

“The Great Lakes Research Consortium small grants program facilitates new basic or applied research, including the testing of hypotheses and assumptions, that develops a foundation for larger projects to benefit New York’s Great Lakes ecosystem,” said Great Lakes Research Consortium Director Gregory L. Boyer, Ph.D.

To be eligible, funded projects must help to address one or more Great Lakes Action Agenda priority goals: persistent toxic substances; sediment, nutrients, and pathogens; invasive species; coastal resiliency; smart growth; recreation and tourism opportunities; energy; and how new and emerging technologies and uses can be applied to current and future Great Lakes issues. The projects supported earlier this year with the 2019 round of funding are working to increase shoreline resiliency in Wayne County; enhance wastewater treatment to reduce toxic substances; assess factors associated with methane gas release from Lake Ontario wetlands; address the impact of climate change on the processes that influence beach and shoreline erosion; and investigate the potential of invasive species to transfer mercury to fish. More details about the 2019 recipients can be found at https://www.esf.edu/glrc/documents/2019glrcgrants.pdf.

This small grant program is made possible through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund’s Ocean-Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act programs. Applications are due no later than Jan. 24. Submission guidelines and an application form are posted at www.esf.edu/glrc. Five projects are expected to receive funding with awards announced in March 2020 for work to be completed from April 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021.

The Great Lakes Research Consortium, housed at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, includes 18 colleges and universities in New York state and nine affiliate campuses in Ontario, Canada, all dedicated to collaborative research and education on the Great Lakes. Nearly 400 faculty, with student support, are conducting research in every facet of Great Lakes science. The GLRC also supports student research and internships. Nationally-recognized algal bloom researcher and ESF Professor Gregory L. Boyer, Ph.D., is the director of the GLRC. Learn more at www.esf.edu/glrc.

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