Purdue Partners With EPA To Reduce Water Pollution

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May 23, 2014–By KAT CARLTON—Indiana Public Media—Purdue University is one of a dozen schools partnering with a task force of federal and environmental groups to help curb water pollution.

The group will specifically focus on addressing nutrient pollution from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

Purdue University Professor of Agricultural Economics Otto Doering says the partnership initially aims to answer one question.

“How do you link the work that’s going on in the land grant universities with what the state governments, the state agencies, and the federal government and the federal agencies need in terms of their efforts of reducing the nitrogen flows down the Mississippi?” he says.

According to Doering, researchers at Purdue are looking into how to stop nitrogen flow to the Gulf of Mexico, where it can foster algae growth.

“If you start dumping a lot of extra nitrogen in, the algae has a great time, goes bananas and you have an incredible algae bloom,” Doering says.

Once this algae dies, it sinks to the bottom of the gulf and absorbs oxygen that sea life needs to survive.

Doering says he thinks  universities will be able to collaborate on projects they wouldn’t be able to do alone because of features like their varied geographies. He says another goal of the partnership is to get help with future projects.

“The land grant universities would like to see more support from the federal and state governments for doing this sort of work,” he says.

This is the first time the task force has partnered with non-governmental institutions.



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