Widespread Water Monitoring Effort Receives Continued Support from Colcom

Posted on December 11, 2013

The Colcom Foundation has renewed a second grant for Duquesne’s Center for Environmental Research and Education (CERE), following funding of $128,000 last year to initiate an extraordinary water quality monitoring effort.

Researchers and volunteers in four regions—Northern Allegheny, Southern Allegheny, Monongahela, and the Upper Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio—monitor 54 sampling sites on the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers and their tributaries in a well-orchestrated and coordinated effort.

“All of the researchers monitor the water at their sites every two weeks on the same day, using the same set of water quality parameters,” said Dr. Stan Kabala, associate director of CERE, which monitors the Southern Allegheny River portion of the 3 Rivers Quest Region. “The institute assembles sampling data on a database that can be accessed by anyone,” at http://3riversquest.org.

Dr. Beth Dakin, post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Duquesne biologist Dr. Brady Porter, archives the materials collected by CERE and its associates. Lauren Drumm, a junior environmental science major, works with Dakin on collecting the samples.

The grant is part of an overall $500,000 grant to West Virginia University’s Water Research Institute. Other partners for the project are Wheeling Jesuit University and the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

“Access to water quality information of this scope and depth is unprecedented in this region, if not in the United States,” said Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the water research institute.

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