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September 4, 2003

Constructed wetlands in the environment is workshop focus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Sept. 12 workshop at Purdue University will examine the value of constructed wetlands for protecting the environment. The keynote address will focus on the option of using a system of wetlands to control pollution flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River Basin.

William Mitsch

William Mitsch, director of the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park at Ohio State University, is the featured speaker. He will discuss how using constructed wetlands and riparian forests could control excess nitrogen flow through the waterways into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The pollution reduces oxygen in the water and damages fish and other aquatic creatures.

The workshop's morning sessions will include presentations on constructed wetlands for improving water quality, hydrologic issues related to wetlands development, wetlands engineering and regulation of constructed wetlands used for waste treatment. The afternoon session will be a field tour of local projects with discussions on design, operation and value of constructed wetlands.

Mitsch, the OSU distinguished professor of natural resources, environmental science and ecological engineering, has served on three National Academy of Sciences panels on wetlands. In 1998 he chaired a scientific panel convened by federal agencies to propose solutions to the pollution in the Gulf of Mexico. He has been awarded the Environmental Law Institute/EPA National Award for Wetland Research and the CH2M-Hill Foundation National Environmental Award.

The workshop will be at the Purdue University John S. Wright Forestry Center, 1011 N. County Road 725 W., West Lafayette, Ind. Registration will be from 8-8:30 a.m., with the morning sessions running from 8:30-11:15 a.m. The afternoon session and field tour will be from 1-3:30 p.m.

The Purdue Environmental Sciences & Engineering Institute, the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Indiana Water Resources Research Center and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are sponsoring the workshop.

There is no fee for the workshop. To register contact the Environmental Sciences & Engineering Institute at (765) 496-3209. More information is available online.

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 496-7481, ssteeves@purdue.edu

Source: Ron Turco, ESEI director, (765) 496-3209, esei@ecn.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Note to Journalists: Mitsch is available for interviews prior to Sept. 12 for advance stories and also for interviews on the day of the workshop. Contact Susan Steeves, (765) 496-7481, ssteeves@purdue.edu.

Related Web sites:
Purdue Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute
Purdue Department of Agronomy
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Ohio State University Olentangy River Wetland Research Park


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