WVU receives $750,000 to support science advisor to help address regional water quality concerns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Stories | WVU Today | West Virginia University

The USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural
Resources and Design with $750,000 over the next five years to support
hiring a science advisor to assist the agency with addressing regional water
quality concerns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“A
vibrant and healthy agricultural sector is one key to restoring and improving
the Chesapeake Bay,” said Jason
Hubbart, the Davis College associate dean for research and
director of the WVU Institute
of Water Security and Science.

“This
program creates the structure for the university to promote and support NRCS
leadership in collaborations with landowners, industries, the Environmental
Protection Agency and Chesapeake Bay Program offices, United States Geological
Survey, state and local governments, and other agencies and organizations as
they work together to benefit working farms and forests and to improve water
quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” Hubbart, who will supervise the
position, said.

The
Davis College and the IWSS will support the NRCS science advisor as the
position provides expert scientific and technical guidance related to reducing
nonpoint source loading of nutrients and sediment to the waters of the
Chesapeake Bay watershed. Nonpoint source pollution comes from many different places
and is transported within and from watersheds when it rains or snows.

The
Chesapeake Bay watershed encompasses the entire District of Columbia and parts
of six states including Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia
and West Virginia and is the largest estuary in the United States. More than
13.6 million people live in these areas, overwhelming the watershed with
nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which has had a negative impact on
everything from grasses to oysters.

“Given
ongoing nonpoint pollution of nutrients and suspended sediment to the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed, this is an opportunity for NRCS, in collaboration
with WVU Davis College and the Institute of Water Security and Science, to

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