News Releases

News Releases from Region 01

Three New England Universities Selected by EPA to Research Water Quality Benefits

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (

BOSTON - Three New England universities were among six chosen nationwide by the US Environmental Protection Agency to work with local communities to better understand the economic value of water quality.

Clark University in Worcester, Mass; Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and University of Connecticut in Storrs, were chosen to receive nearly $800,000 each for studies that will help communities and environmental experts make more informed choices about the costs and benefits of actions that protect and improve the quality of their waterways.

"Clean water is a prerequisite to healthy people and healthy communities," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "This funding will help provide the kind of information to communities investing in water resources to help them decide what steps to take to get the most bang for their buck."

Contaminants continue to reduce the quality of our water - and often at a rate that outpaces water quality improvements required by regulatory actions. The research announced today will help communities and experts conduct benefit-cost analyses for actions that protect our waterways. This research will also provide a critical link between water quality science and the monetary value of the services that healthy waterways provide, such as recreation and improved health. The work will also ultimately help EPA develop software that can be used to estimate water quality benefits anywhere in the US.

Clark University will estimate water quality benefits throughout river systems in the Northeast. Dartmouth College will create a framework for linking the health of small streams to water quality indicators and ecosystem services that people recognize and fundamentally value. And the University of Connecticut will quantify the value of changes in water quality, both in terms of the value to the environment and their value to the economy. The other institutions receiving the research grants were North Carolina State University at Raleigh; Michigan State University in East Lansing and Iowa State University in Ames.

More information about these grants (