Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded Oklahoma State University and six other universities $6.5 million in funding to study the harmful growth of algae across the country.
The seven universities, including the University of Idaho, Illinois and South Florida, will study ways to improve different areas of harmful algal blooms or HAB’s.
“Harmful algal blooms are a serious and persistent problem across all 50 states,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release.
OSU will focus on creating technology that will absorb nutrients from agricultural runoff, with Dr. Allen Apblett and Dr. Nick Materer leading the study.
“The technology will provide a sustainable solution for the prevention of hazardous algal blooms while also reducing the environmental and financial costs associated with the decontamination of ponds and the production of fertilizers,” Apblett said in an OSU press release.
The project will use novel materials that can be used as a time-released fertilizer in the future, Apblett said in the press release.
This grant is the largest grant to support a nationwide effort to reduce HAB’s. Under President Trump, the EPA has awarded $8.5 million in grant funding to research methods to reduce excess nutrients in watersheds, according to the EPA website.