By Amanda Speciale
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded six universities a total of $4.8 million in grant money to pursue research on the economic values of water quality. Dr. Melissa A. Kenney and Dr. Michael D. Gerst are collaborating with North Carolina State University and the RTI International on the project titled, “Estimating the Benefits of Stream Water Quality Improvements in Urbanizing Watersheds: An Ecological Production Function Approach”. This three-year project (April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2019) was awarded $799,728.
The objective of this research is to “develop and demonstrate methods for valuing the use and nonuse benefits of improving water quality in wadeable streams in urbanizing watersheds”. The project will employ an “ecological production function” approach to meet this research objective, particularly focused in the Southeast U.S.