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Environmental Partnership

MURFREESBORO – Chowan University’s Department of Biology is collaborating with Bertie County on their “Tall Glass of Water” (TGOW) Project.

The project will leverage natural resources in the area, such as the Salmon Creek State Natural Area, as well as cultural resources to promote sustainable ecotourism and environmental education.

Chowan University Biology majors Nay Jordan, Ty Sharpe and Timothy Moore measure fish as a part of the ecological monitoring for the Tall Glass of Water Project in Bertie County. Photo courtesy of Chowan University

“This is a crucial program that will positively impact both the county and its citizens as they build an exciting future around their world-class natural resources. Understanding the dynamics of their incredible water resources is key to both the utilization and management of their waterways and is essential to maintain a sustainable environment,” stated Dr. Stan Riggs, an East Carolina University Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of North Carolina Land of Water.

Chowan’s Biology Department will receive up to three years of funding to conduct water quality and ecological monitoring associated with restoration of wetland and native meadow habitats on a 147-acre site at the mouth of the Chowan River. Chowan students will directly contribute to the effort through capstone projects, class activities, and work-study.

The capstone projects will be independent student research related to habitat restoration, class activities will involve field and lab work carried out by students enrolled in specific courses (e.g. Environmental Science, Wetlands Biology, and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems), and biology majors employed through the University’s Work Study Program will collect and analyze water quality and environmental monitoring data.

Funding for Chowan Biology’s work on the TGOW Project is made possible through Bertie County’s recent Environmental Enhancement Grant.

“The TGOW Project represents a great opportunity for our students to obtain real-world experience and contribute to a project that will significantly benefit the local community,” noted Dr. James “Bo” Dame, Chowan Professor of Biology and Physical Science

“Another aspect of the project involves environmental education,” he added. “We anticipate developing a monitoring protocol that will be passed along to the local K-12 schools to carry out after our initial three-year participation is complete. There is considerable potential for this project to have a lasting impact on our students as well as the community.”

For more information on the TGOW Project, visit www.co.bertie.nc.us/projects/2019/tgow/tgow. To learn more about Chowan’s role in the project, contact Dr. Bo Dame at damej@chowan.edu.