Montclair State University’s Passaic River Institute Receives U.S. EPA Grant

Grant to fund program involving area high school students in the monitoring of the Passaic River’s water quality.

Photo: Mike Peters

Shown at the check presentation ceremony are (front row, left to right) Nicholas Smith-Sebasto, associate professor, earth and environmental sciences; Kirk Barrett, director, Passaic River Institute; Alan J. Steinberg, regional director, U.S. EPA; Babita Tulsee, Barringer High School (BHS) student; Kayuma Brown, BHS student; Genary Mendez, BHS student; Susan A. Cole, president, Montclair State University; Lydia Alvarez, administrator, BHS; and Luis Delacruz, BHS student. (Back row, left to right) Louches Powell, science teacher, BHS; Neil Sealey, BHS student; and Geraldo Hernandez, BHS student (partially hidden).

Students and teachers from four New Jersey high schools in three counties will conduct scientific studies of the Passaic River under the guidance of professors and staff from Montclair State University under a new project, the Passaic River Environmental Education and Monitoring Organization, PREEMO, established through Montclair State University’s Passaic River Institute. The University received a grant of close to $40,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support the project.

Accepting the check from the EPA was President Susan A. Cole who said, “We are committed to and excited by high school students getting into hands-on science.” She noted that there has been a push in recent years to clean up the Passaic River. “Every bit helps on the remediation of the river and these students will be a part of that work.”

Students from the high schools will collect water samples and measure quality variables such as dissolved oxygen, water clarity and phosphorus concentrations. They will also collect small bottom-dwelling animals, like snails, that indicate pollution levels in a body of water.

Read the press release here.

Find out more about PREEMO here.