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Michigan Tech Research Institute Wins EPA Grant to Map Harmful Algal Blooms

The Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor has been named the recipient of a $281,612 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The two-year grant will fund a project to map the location and extent of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.

The grant is one of 70 totaling nearly $30 million that were announced last week throughout the Great Lakes region.

The mapping will be done by Robert Shuchman, co-director of MTRI and principal investigator on the grant; Colin Brooks, a research scientist at MTRI; Tracy Valenta, a water resources specialist with the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District; Gary Fahnenstiel, a senior ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory; and George Leshkevich, a physical scientiest with NOAA GLERL.

They will use satellite imagery, field data, tested algorithms and agency collaborations to measure the extent and duration of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes from 2008 to 2012.

The work is part of the federally funded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. A special focus will be on harmful algal blooms in Green Bay, Saginaw Bay and western Lake Erie.

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