UW Tacoma receives environmental award

The University of Washington Tacoma was among three universities to receive Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s “Bay Hero Award, Excellence in Environmental Education” for its outstanding contributions to the health of Commencement Bay and surrounding waters in South Puget Sound, according to a statement released yesterday.

UW Tacoma was selected for the award based on its proposed Urban Waters program now under development. It will provide leading research on cleaning and maintaining urban waterways like Commencement Bay, offer students learning opportunities in environmental science and attract high-level expertise and funding to UW Tacoma to focus on the areas where university research and teaching can have a great impact on protecting local waters.

“It is an honor to receive this recognition of the work the Environmental Science group at UWT has done over the years in promoting environmental education and collaborating with the community to study environmental conditions in Commencement Bay,” said Cheryl Greengrove, interim director of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

UW Tacoma has hired Dr. Joel Baker, a leading researcher of water pollution in marine environments, as the first holder of the Port of Tacoma Chair. In addition to teaching, Dr. Baker will research pollution in the Foss Waterway, Commencement Bay and South Puget Sound through the Urban Waters marine research facility and study the surrounding urban environment’s impact on the marine environment. He also will be active in the community, working to collaborate with the City of Tacoma, the Port of Tacoma and other constituents on water quality and pollution issues.

Other 2007 Bay Hero award recipients included Jeannie O’Dell, Department of Ecology, for Professional Excellence; David S. Adams, habitat and wildlife consultant, for Volunteer Commitment; Al Schmauder, for Environmental Advocate/Citizen; University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, for Excellence in Environmental Education; and Foss Waterway Marina Group, for Business Leadership.

For more information about Urban Waters, visit http://www.tacoma.washington.edu/news/2007_0726.cfm .