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APSU'S Center for Field Biology awarded grant in Kentucky water project

Austin Peay State Universitys Center of Excellence for Field Biology has been awarded grant funding from the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources for a sinkhole restoration and water-quality project in Logan County.

Dr. Andrew Barrass, assistant professor of biology and director of the Center for Field Biology, said the contract, part of a federal $3.5 million Clean Water Act, is APSUs first contract with the commonwealth of Kentucky. The Centers grant award is for $125,000 over a five-year period.
Austin Peay State University's Center of Excellence for Field Biology has been awarded grant funding from the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources for a sinkhole restoration and water-quality project in Logan County.

Dr. Andrew Barrass, assistant professor of biology and director of the Center for Field Biology, said the contract, part of a federal $3.5 million Clean Water Act, is APSU's first contract with the commonwealth of Kentucky. The Center's grant award is for $125,000 over a five-year period.

The Red River Watershed Association, which oversees environmental projects in Tennessee and five counties in southcentral Kentucky, will work with the University as a subcontractor in the project to reduce nonpoint-source pollutants in Logan County's Pleasant Grove Creek Subwatershed, which flows southwest toward Tennessee.

Nonpoint-source pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, refers to pollutants borne by runoff from rain, melting snow, lawn watering and other sources into streams and aquifers. Within the Pleasant Grove watershed, the major pollutant is sediment runoff.

Project partners will contribute to the grant with in-kind matching funds of $102,000. Barrass said the University's match would come mostly from farmers and citizens in the area donating time and effort. The project is expected to get under way in February.

“We look forward to working again with the Red River Watershed Association and the many volunteers who work for better water quality,” Barrass said. “We hope to hire an aquatic biologist to work with us on this project.”

For more information, contact Barrass by telephone at (931) 221-7782 or by e-mail at barrassa@apsu.edu. -- Melony Leazer