U.S. Senator Ed Markey visited Boston College to announce a $6.2 million grant the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given to a team of researchers from British Columbia to study water quality and sediment transport in watersheds and along US coasts.
According to Ethan Baxter, chairman of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“Young people are our greatest climate champions, and that’s why I was thrilled to visit my alma mater Boston College to celebrate $4 million in additional federal funding for critical climate research that will help ensure that we have a livable planet for this generation and generations to come,” said Markey, BC ’68 and BC Law ’72, in a press release.
During his March 28 visit, Markey spoke at a press conference alongside university president Reverend William P. Leahy, SJ, vice president of government and community affairs Tom Keady , and other professors and researchers involved in the grant.
“So part of [Markey’s] visit was to see the infrastructure we’ve built that tackles this research,” Baxter said. “And then also just kind of acknowledging that funding and support, which is pretty awesome.”
At least seven different faculty members, at least seven graduate students and at least seven undergraduate students will contribute to the research process, according to Baxter. Although the topic of the grant is quite broad, Baxter said the central focus is water.
“We’re looking at the stability of the country’s coastlines and the stability of the country’s inland waterways, so rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs,” Baxter said. “We focus on how water serves as a destructive agent and a shaping agent.”
BC researchers will also work with the US Army Corps of Engineers to understand climate change, sea level rise, water quality and sediment dynamics throughout history, according to Baxter. .
“Studying this historically, [as well as] modern surveillance…we’re going to get a sense of how these systems explicitly respond to all of these different processes to help inform the body on how to prepare the nation for the future in the decades to come,” Baxter said. “How can the body use the science we give it to plan for a sustainable future? »
According to Baxter, Markey is passionate about the environment and lobbies for funding for similar research projects in federal and US Army Corps budgets.
“As sea levels rise, we continue to see the impacts of climate change on our country’s coasts, rivers and habitats,” Markey said in the statement. “Nowhere are the effects clearer than our watersheds here in Massachusetts and New England. This funding will support critical research to develop strategies to mitigate these changes so that we can help prevent the worst climate impacts.
Featured Image by Nicole Vagra/Editor