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News Update

UF Water Institute named EPA Center of Excellence

Staff report

The University of Florida’s Water Institute has been designated a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management, becoming the second such institution in the state.

Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the University of Florida signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help communities identify watershed-based problems, and develop and implement locally sustainable solutions.

To become a recognized Center of Excellence, an institution must demonstrate technical expertise in identifying and addressing watershed needs; involvement of students, staff and faculty in watershed research; capability to involve the full suite of disciplines needed for all aspects of watershed management; financial ability to become self-sustaining; ability to deliver and account for results; willingness to partner with other institutions; and support from the highest levels of the organization.

Some of the benefits of being a recognized Center of Excellence include receipt of EPA technical assistance where needed, promotion of the Center of Excellence to stakeholders, EPA letters of support for grant opportunities, and identification of opportunities for Center of Excellence involvement in local and regional watershed issues.

More information about priority watersheds in the Southeast is available at http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/watersheds/index.html.

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