The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated NC State as a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management, making it the first such center in the Southeast.
NC State manages the Water Resources Research Institute for the University of North Carolina system.
The EPA and university officials signed a memorandum of understanding to help communities identify watershed problems and find sustainable solutions.
The designation will allow NC State to continue to develop strong partnerships with other institutions, organization and agencies required to protect and restore watersheds, said Stan Meiburg, EPA acting regional administrator.
“Everyone lives in a watershed,” Meiburg said. “We believe a watershed approach is the most effective framework to address today’s water resource challenges.”
To become a recognized Center of Excellence, the institution must demonstrate technical expertise; conduct watershed research involving students, staff and faculty; possess the range of relevant disciplines; demonstrate financial capacity; build effective partnerships; and garner support from the highest levels of the organization.
Benefits of the designation include include EPA technical assistance, grant support and opportunities in local and regional watershed issues.
More information about priority watersheds in the Southeast is available on the EPA Web site.