Statewide consortium gets $20M to study sea level rise

The National Science Foundation awards a statewide research consortium a competitive grant to study the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.



Sea levels are rising at a faster rate in the Mid-Atlantic than anywhere else in the world. The problem is a big one for low-lying Delaware.

"Because it affects all of us. It affects tourism, it affects agriculture, it affects the well-being of the citizenry," says Project Director Don Sparks.



Sparks runs the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a statewide research consortium that consists of the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Wesley College and Delaware Tech.

Sparks says students will search for renewable energy solutions.

"We'll have graduate students, we have undergraduate students, some really exciting internship opportunities for them so there's a large component of it that's related to education outreach," Sparks says.



The grant money also goes towards economic development with EPSCoR being responsible for creating more than 160 jobs in the state.

"There's a part of the research where there could well be new technologies that are developed, which could them stimulate start-up companies, new jobs," says Sparks.



The grant is for $20 million over five years. It's the third Research Infrastructure Improvement grant Delaware EPSCoR has received. The state has also committed $4 million to the program for 2013 through 2018.

For more information check out EPSCoR.







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