Grants Approved From NYPA Fund
for Environmental Education and Research Projects Involving St.
Lawrence River Watershed
315-764-0226, ext. 863
March 20, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MASSENA—Four projects that will contribute to
appreciation and understanding of the St. Lawrence River ecosystem
are among the first to benefit from the St. Lawrence River Research
and Education Fund (SLRREF), which the New York Power Authority
(NYPA) established as part of its relicensing of the St.
Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in 2003.
Earlier this month, the SLRREF board approved
$70,171 in funding for the St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau, Friends
of the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center, the Great Rivers
Center at Clarkson University, and St. Lawrence University. The
proposed projects will also receive $31,100 in matching funds from
“I’m looking forward to the innovative projects
that will result from these grants,” Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president
and chief executive officer, said. “These initiatives will enhance
what we know about the St. Lawrence River watershed in the immediate
vicinity of our St. Lawrence-FDR project, and provide new
educational experiences for North Country residents and visitors.”
The SLRREF board consists of representatives of the
Power Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York Rivers United,
the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Education Services, the
St. Lawrence County Planning Office, the St. Lawrence-Adirondack
Audubon Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local
The funding approved for the St. Lawrence County
Youth Bureau—$17,615—is for a program involving its Youth
Conservation Corps. A team of students referred to as Wetland
Watchers will work outdoors this summer monitoring and managing
invasive species along the St.Lawrence River and providing the
public with strategies for invasive species prevention. The
students’ ages range from 14 to 21.
Joanne Sevick, director of the St. Lawrence County
Youth Bureau, noted that Wetland Watchers joined with NYPA in 2007
to monitor and collect data on invasive species.
“The continuation of the Wetland Watchers program
will provide interesting and valuable experiences for our students
in community education, natural-resource and information management
and invasive species management, along with enhancing workplace
skills,” Sevick said.
Friends of the Robert Moses State Park Nature
Center will apply its $14,485 SLRREF grant to its Woods and Water
Learning Project. The project includes completion of a self-guiding
nature trail and development of a program on the plants and animals
along the trail and on its geology.
“The funding for the completion of the nature
trail will allow community members of all ages and physical
abilities to gain awareness and understanding of the relationship
between the woodland areas of Robert Moses State Park and the St.
Lawrence River,” said Mary Danboise, executive director of the
Robert Moses State Park Nature Center. “We will also create a
variety of learning tools in partnership with area educators.”
The Great Rivers Center at Clarkson University will
use its SLRREF funding of $19,129 for research on lower food web
processes that are critical to the St. Lawrence River ecosystem and
its fish communities.
“This fundamental information will provide
knowledge to make predictions of how the ecosystem could be affected
by climate change, water level fluctuations or invasive species,”
Dr. Michael Twiss, director of the Great Rivers Center, said.
St. Lawrence University will use its SLRREF grant
of $18,942 to study the abundance and composition of bottom-dwelling
organisms, assess major environmental conditions along the riverbed
and investigate potential roles of exotic species in regulating
mercury and botulism levels in the St. Lawrence River ecosystem.
“The funding from the St. Lawrence River Research
and Education Fund will allow us to study how the introduction of
exotic species into the stretch of the river from Waddington to
Massena is affecting the fish and waterfowl that are part of the
river ecosystem,” said Brad Baldwin, associate professor of biology
at St. Lawrence University.
To be eligible for financial support from the
SLRREF, proposed projects must pertain to the St. Lawrence River,
the adjoining terrestrial features or a tributary within the St.
Lawrence River Valley. The deadline for the next application
submissions is July 1.
Additional details are available at
www.nypa.gov/facilities/stlaw.htm, where a report on SLRREF
activities is also accessible.
■ NYPA uses no tax money or
state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of
bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of
electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting
energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric
transportation initiatives. ■ It is the
nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating
facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400
circuit-miles of transmission lines.
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