Bonita Springs, Fla.— Florida Gulf Coast University is determined to change the tide of Florida waters through its new Water School.
“A creation of a school in this caliber will definitely help address those issues and further research and student experience in the future,” said Samuel Hans, Graduate Student, Environmental Science.
“We want to solve them for the people we serve, we also want the nation and the world to know that this is also a place of expertise for tropical water issues,” said President Mike Martin, Florida Gulf Coast University.
The five major issues the school will focus on are climate change, natural resources such as fisheries, beaches, seagrass beds. Ecosystem health, health & well-being to find out how red tide and blue-green algae impact people and restoration and remediation by studying oyster reefs and seagrass planting.
FGCU's Water School will tie existing research programs dedicated to water issues like Vester Marine and Environmental Science & Research Center together.
“Let others interested in water know that we are prepared to be their partner so that we can work together with other agencies and universities and it gives us the chance to tell the community that we are committed to southwest Florida,” said President Martin.
FGCU still needs $20 million in funding from the state and individuals, corporations and foundations to expand the university’s infrastructure, establish scholarships, and hire more staff.
Dr. Greg Tolley, chair of the Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences, will lead the Water School. Dr. Tolley will be working on defining the areas of focus for the school over the next couple of months.