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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

News from URI's Graduate School of Oceanography...

Narragansett Bay Commission Awards EMPACT Grant to URI Graduate School of Oceanography
for Bay Project

Narragansett, R.I. -- January 3, 2001 -- Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) recently awarded URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) chemical oceanographer Dana Kester $78,260 to establish water quality monitoring stations in the urban area of Providence.

Funding for the grant was provided to the NBC under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) Program, a presidential initiative to provide time-relevant environmental information in major metropolitan areas of the U.S.

Kester's grant will establish a shore-based monitoring system in the Seekonk River and a moored buoy system in the Providence River. These systems will be added to three systems that Kester has already in place, including a shore-based station at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus and two moored buoys located in central Narragansett Bay and in the upper bay, just south of the Providence River. Every 15 minutes the stations measure water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and chlorophyll fluorescence. The data collected from the systems is analyzed, interpreted, and distributed by scientists at GSO.

"These new systems provided by the EMPACT project will extend our ability to track changes in the waters of the bay," said Kester, a resident of Narragansett. "Data will be transmitted ashore every 15 minutes and become available to the public and other users in nearly real-time. These systems will be operational in March 2001."

The EMPACT project will provide the public with new types of information about water quality and about the processes that affect it. The information gained through this project will be made available to management and regulatory agencies, as well as to non-governmental organizations and public and private educational institutions.

Contact: Lisa Cugini, 874-6642

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