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March 1, 2012

DEQ presents $564,496 grant to ULM

Peggy Hatch, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and Senator Mike Walsworth, chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, presented a $564,496 DEQ grant to the University of Louisiana at Monroe Feb. 28 in Monroe.

Dr. Nick J. Bruno, president of ULM, and Dr. Kevin Baer, principal investigator and toxicology department chair, accepted the grant.

The grant is for two projects. The projects, focused on Bayou Lafourche and Turkey Creek in the Boeuf River Sub-Basin, entail ULM taking grab samples in-stream on a weekly basis for the duration of the two-year grant period.

ULM will provide DEQ with needed water quality data.

It is anticipated that the data will demonstrate the effectiveness of nutrient best management practices in priority watersheds.

The goal of the projects are to determine the effectiveness of BMPs in reducing nutrients and sediment and to determine if the water bodies may be delisted from the impaired water body list for dissolved oxygen and other parameters.

“Our partnership with ULM will benefit DEQ, the university and the state,” said DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch.

“It is the best use of resources for the common good and we are very pleased to be working with the university and its researchers.”

Senator Mike Walsworth said, "I appreciate what Secretary Hatch and the DEQ staff are doing for Louisiana.

As the new chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, I believe this type of award to one of our finest universities will go a long way in moving the Department’s and legislature’s agenda forward.”

ULM President Nick Bruno commended the expertise within ULM faculty.

"The University of Louisiana at Monroe is proud to provide these services to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The continued grant funding from LDEQ exhibits the confidence they have in ULM’s Department of Toxicology and its researchers,” he said.

"ULM’s toxicology program, offered through our College of Pharmacy, awards the only bachelor's degree of its kind in the southeastern U.S.

For years, outside agencies have relied upon our toxicology experts to assist them in testing water quality; these partnerships have resulted in a safer environment for our community."

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