Agricultural and Environmental Research Funding Secured

DOVER, DE – Delaware’s Congressional Delegation today announced that they secured federal funding in the Fiscal Year 2002 Agriculture Appropriations Bill for agricultural and environmental research to aid the state’s farmers and find solutions to some of the state’s environmental and soil quality issues. Senators Joe Biden, Jr. and Tom Carper joined with Congressman Mike Castle to secure $290,000 for the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium at Delaware State University and $120,000 to help establish the Institute of Soil and Environmental Quality at the University of Delaware. This funding is included in the conference report and should be voted on by the House and Senate before being sent to the President’s desk for signature into law “The health and well-being of our agricultural community is essential to the prosperity of our state,” said Senator Biden. “This funding will help us stay ahead of the curve and actively address the problems that negatively impact our productivity and environment.” “Research a the key to protecting our environment and improving our agricultural yields. These University projects will boost to our efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous pollution runoff while sustaining agricultural productivity,” Carper said. “Our state needs the tools of new technology to improve our environment and aid our farmers.” “Agriculture prosperity and environmental protection are key components of these important Delaware projects The Herbarium is a unique research facility which will provide scientists with the essential knowledge to improve agriculture productivity,” Castle said. “The Institute will assist state and federal agencies in understanding complex soil and environmental issues throughout Delaware.” The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium at Delaware State University offers agricultural producers and researchers a vast array of information pertaining to noxious weeds, invasive species, wetland vegetation, and several other topics that affect the livelihood of our nation’s agricultural producers. As these issues significantly impact more and more communities, this is a valuable asset to the state, the region and the country. Established in conjunction with the University of Delaware, Wesley College, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, and the Mt. Cuba Center for the Study of Piedmont Flora, it is the only cooperative herbaria in the country. The Institute of Soil and Environmental Quality at the University of Delaware’s mission is to assist in solving the vast array of soil and environmental quality issues facing Delaware. The Institute will conduct basic and applied research on soil and environmental quality issues, serve as an unbiased scientific advisory body to state, regional and national advisory and regulatory agencies, and conduct public education and outreach programs designed to further public understanding of soil and environmental issues and thus foster effective citizen involvement in environmental policy making. One of the research projects that the Institute has focused upon is non-point source pollution of surface waters by nutrients as this is a major environmental issue in Delaware and much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Research conducted by the institute will integrate the efforts of animal scientists, soil scientists, hydrologists, and environmental engineers to develop the new best management practices for phosphorous.