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Friday, June 27, 2014

Harbor Watch Nets $25,000 Lab Grant

The Fairfield County Community Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Harbor Watch, the water quality monitoring program at Westport’s Earthplace, the Nature Discovery Center, to support its laboratory expansion project.

According to Harbor Watch, the grant matches an earlier one from the Jeniam Foundation, placing the fundraising for the 2015 lab expansion at more than 50 percent.

Harbor Watch officials say they plan to triple their current lab facilities, enhancing the group’s ability to conduct water quality research, pollution source detection and field science education, all with the aim of reversing the biological decline of Long Island Sound.

High on its list are restoring and protecting the Sound’s the biological diversity, commercial fishery operations and recreational opportunities. 

Founded 26 years ago by Richard Harris, current program director, Harbor Watch has been part of Earthplace since 1993.

“Dick Harris has done an incredible job building a certified testing program and educational platform that produces the most reliable data on our watershed,” said Tony McDowell, Earthplace’s executive director. “This expansion is a testament to his vision, keen leadership and trust among the scientific community.”

He said that over the years, Harbor Watch has steadily expanded its geography along the Long Island Sound coastline and inland to much of Fairfield County, from Norwalk and Westport to Ridgefield, east to the Pequonnock River in Bridgeport and West to Holly Pond in Stamford.

The nonprofit program is staffed by four full time professionals and supported by seasonal interns and volunteers who provide citizen-science field testing teams.

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Posted 06/27/14 at 02:30 PM  Permalink



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