For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran

Georgian Court Team Receives Barnegat Bay Grant

University Effort Will Raise Water Conservation Awareness

Lakewood, N.J., Mar. 2, 2007Two faculty members from Georgian Court have received a $7,200 grant from the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program to develop an awareness program that addresses the need for water conservation within the Barnegat Bay Watershed. The grant extends from March 1, 2007 to March 1, 2008.

The objective of the project is to educate area residents about the simple actions, such as fixing leaky faucets and installing water-efficient fixtures that people can take to conserve water in their homes and workplaces. Some of the program activities will include working with local school teachers to incorporate a water conservation module in their classes and working to empower the students in those classes to take the message of water conservation into their communities through creation of presentations and displays. The project will be spearheaded by Associate Professor of Biology Louise Wootton and Assistant Arboretum Director Sister Mary Bilderback. Georgian Court science education students will assist with curriculum development and delivery.  United Water Toms River will partner with Georgian Court in this effort, sponsoring water supply experts to visit with teachers and their classes to talk about water supply and conservation issues.

“As an ecologist, I am passionate about protecting our environment and natural resources. I believe that engaging teachers and students in a dialogue about water conservation and building a deep appreciation for ways in which our own behaviors affect the natural environment has the potential to change those behaviors for life,” says Dr. Wootton. “Through participation in the program we hope to motivate students and their families to change their behaviors in such a way as to become good water stewards, adopting behaviors and making changes in their homes and families to reduce water use.”

Dr. Wootton also says that the grant directly relates to Georgian Court’s founders, the Sisters of Mercy, commitment to the environment. “We can’t help but think of the Mercy Critical Concerns poster in the Arts and Sciences building, which says that we recognize the need to intensify our response to the critical needs of our times and to be respectful of Earth and the sustainability of life,” she says. “We take the ability to turn on the tap and have an endless supply of clean, fresh water for granted, but it is a finite resource.”

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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