In direct response to the increasing frequency, duration and magnitude of harmful algal blooms, which plagued New Jersey’s freshwater lakes in recent summers, Montclair State University has established the New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology (NJCWST).
The Center will greatly expand the University’s leadership role in the management of New Jersey’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and other waterbodies by providing research, testing, technical assistance and sponsorship of K-12 and general public education.
“The NJCWST is committed to keeping New Jersey’s drinking and recreational waters safe, and preserving the health of aquatic habitats,” says Meiyin Wu, director of the New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology and professor in the Department of Biology. “We hope to continue our work and remain an important resource for the state and its residents, and bring new data to the forefront that will help better manage our valuable water resources.”
Montclair State University has long been integral to the state’s water conservation efforts and is home to the Passaic River Institute, New Jersey Phytoplankton Lab, Habitat Connectivity Project, and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)-certified Water Analysis Laboratory. The institution has been a long-standing partner of the NJDEP, and has been serving as a resource for identifying harmful algal blooms in New Jersey since the summer of 2015.
The NJCWST will house all of Montclair State’s current initiatives and expand its public services to provide water quality testing and technical assistance to conservation groups and municipalities to help ensure safe water for drinking and recreation, as well as preserve aquatic ecosystems. The Center will also aid in enriching public outreach by sponsoring training workshops to environmental professionals and environmental education for K-12 students as well as the general public.
“Montclair State University is proud to expand its role in the state’s water conservation efforts,” says Lora Billings, dean of Montclair State’s College of Science and Mathematics. “Dr. Wu and her team of scientists are providing crucial services that will be beneficial to New Jersey residents for generations to come. By involving our students in the studies, we are actively training the state’s future water scientists and giving them critical job skills.”
To learn more about the New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology, visit montclair.edu/water-science.
To learn more about Montclair State University’s water conservation initiatives, read “The Water Protectors,” from the latest issue of Montclair: The Magazine of Montclair State University.