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To assist states and local governments with their immediate needs in conducting environmental check-ups of their vital ecosystems, EPA’s Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP), is seeking applications for new regional research projects. EPA anticipates awarding $1.92 million in 2005 for new projects and selected continuing projects. The projects will evaluate and improve monitoring designs and tools that can be used to evaluate the condition of the environment by states, local governments and tribal nations.
"This effort allows us not only to ‘take the pulse’ of our natural environment but to give it a full check up. We are pleased to help meet the immediate needs of states and to develop new technologies and tools to monitor and protect the environment. Past research projects have provided important information for the states and EPA in establishing the condition of aquatic ecosystems at the local, state and national levels," said Michael Brown, Associate Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development.
EMAP is a long-term research program designed to develop and demonstrate sound scientific approaches to monitoring the condition of the Nation’s ecological resources. Projects are supported by the Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (REMAP), a partnership with EMAP and EPA’s Regional Offices.
Each year EPA scientists evaluate priority monitoring and assessment needs of states and other partners. Priority topics include:
* Improved designs and tools for assessments of great and large rivers, wetlands, and lakes.
* Integration of water-quality monitoring to establish over all condition of aquatic resources and help to identify impaired water bodies and set priorities for their clean-up.
* Improved development of biological reference conditions for establishing biological criteria.
* Approaches to demonstrate the effectiveness of restoration/remediation at the watershed level.
States, local governments, U.S. tribal nations, institutions of higher education and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S., are eligible to apply. EPA expects to make 1-2 awards for 2-year projects in each of seven regions of the United States where EPA maintains regional offices. The Regional Offices are located in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. Funding for each project may be up to $192,000 per year. The deadline for submitting proposals for these research grants is March 14, 2005.
The program is also supporting ongoing research projects in EPA’s regional Offices in Boston, Atlanta and Denver, funded in 2004. These projects include efforts to design a comprehensive and unbiased assessment of New England’s lakes and ponds and to document the response of the Everglades to restoration efforts.