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PA EPA AWARDS GRANTS TO STUDY PFIESTERIA AND OTHER HARMFUL ALGAE

Release Date: 12/19/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1997

EPA AWARDS GRANTS TO STUDY PFIESTERIA AND OTHER HARMFUL ALGAE
In response to the growing problem of blooms of harmful algae in coastal waters, EPA has joined with other federal agencies to award $3 million in competitive grants to researchers to study this issue. The agencies are also requesting proposals for an expanded $5 million dollar grant program for research to begin this summer, with a particular emphasis on the harmful algae Pfiesteria. Pfiesteria has been implicated in fish kills and possible adverse human health effects in North Carolina and Chesapeake Bay estuaries. The grants are being funded under the auspices of the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, a long-term research effort involving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), EPA and other agencies. The competitive grants awarded by EPA this year are to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to study toxic chemicals produced by algae; the University of California at Santa Cruz to study algae that have caused human poisonings in Oregon and Washington; to the University of Connecticut for studies of how blooms occur; and to the University of Guam to study the impacts of blooms on coral reefs. More information on the ECOHAB program and application requirements is available on the Internet at the following address: http://es.epa.gov/ncerqa/rfa/ecohab.html.

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