Great Lakes Research Consortium Awards Funding to Five Projects

SYRACUSE, NY – The Great Lakes Research Consortium (GLRC) in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced $121,916 in grants for five projects conduced by faculty and students at four State universities: The College at Brockport, the University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

With a Great Lakes Research Consortium grant, Rachel Schultz, Ph.D. and graduate student Courtney Scoles are assessing the effects of cattail treatment on methane emissions from Lake Ontario coastal wetlands. Photo: Jake Straub

The five projects receiving the GLRC funding will advance the goals of the Great Lakes Action Agenda for New York State for the restoration and protection for freshwater resources locally and, in so doing, establish models for use nationally.

The projects are addressing the application of science to:
. increase shoreline resiliency,
. enhance wastewater treatment to reduce toxic substances,
. assess factors associated with methane gas release from 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.

Project collaborators include the Town of Amherst; New York Sea Grant Great Lakes; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Funding for the GLRC grants is provided the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act program.

“We are excited about these projects that are exploring innovative approaches for applying science to critical issues facing the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes communities and economies. The results of these projects will not only benefit the Great Lakes region, but have implications for water bodies far beyond,” said Great Lakes Research Consortium Director Gregory L. Boyer, Ph.D.

The five grant projects receiving 2019 Great Lakes Research Consortium grants are:
. The College at Brockport, $25,000: Assessing the Effects of Cattail Treatment on Methane Emissions from Lake Ontario Coastal Wetlands. The project is addressing the question of how the eradication of invasive plants, e.g., cattails, influences freshwater wetlands release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse: $24,966: Food Web Impacts and Contaminant Transfer by the Tubenose Goby in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Basin. This project is evaluating the habitat and diet preferences of an invasive species that is becoming more abundant in the northeastern Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River basin and its potential to vector mercury contamination to higher-level fishes.

. University at Buffalo, $25,000: Towards Complete Removal of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Using a Nanotechnology-Assisted Advanced Water Treatment Process. This project is evaluating the efficacy of an innovative wastewater treatment approach using a nanomaterial-based reactive pretreatment followed by a biological wastewater treatment process to completely degrade per- and polyfluoroalkly compounds. PFAS are organic compounds extensively used in non-sticky consumer products and aqueous fire-fighting foams. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFAS as a priority pollutant for removal from drinking water and food sources.

. Stony Brook University, $25,000: Increasing Shoreline Erosion Resiliency Using Marine-Based Biopolymers. This project, with a field demonstration site in Wayne County, is testing the use of ecosystem-friendly and cost-effective marine-based biopolymers as a potential technique for increasing shoreline erosion resistance, restoration and protection at the local and national levels.

. Stony Brook University, $21,590: Eastern Lake Erie Erosion, Sediment Transport and Depositions Under a Changing Climate. This project is documenting the historical seasonal climate, wave climate, storm surge, beach erosion, and sediment movement along eastern Lake Erie as a basis for computer modeling to identify future impact for Lake Erie shores and beaches.

The Great Lakes Research Consortium, housed at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, encompasses 18 colleges and universities in New York and affiliate campuses in Canada. For more information on each project and on GLRC grants for student research, student travel to conferences and workshops, and student internships, visit www.esf.edu/glrc.