Coastal communities are striving to safeguard themselves from increasing storm risks. One approach is to restore and manage natural features, including coastal wetlands such as Piermont Marsh on the Hudson River in New York. Residents believe Piermont Marsh significantly reduced wave and flood debris damage on the abutting Village of Piermont during Hurricane Sandy. Without the marsh, the financial impact of Sandy would likely have been far worse. Marsh managers and village leaders now seek to better understand the marsh’s capacity to buffer against waves, flood, and debris, and the economic values associated with these functions. In partnership with the local community, this project will design and apply state-of-the-art predictive models that will evaluate different approaches to managing the marsh. As a result, marsh managers will better understand coastal wetlands’ role in enhancing community resilience to storm events and will have the tools and knowledge to make sound decisions.
Keywords: Piermont Marsh, Hudson River, New York, coastal wetlands
Hundreds of dams built on tributaries of the Hudson River estuary currently hold substantial volumes of sediment and have altered the way that sediment moves through the system. Natural resource managers are interested in removing some of these dams to improve connectivity of aquatic habitats, restore fish spawning habitat, and reduce risks of dam failure. A high-priority management need of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve is to improve the scientific understanding of potential impacts that dam removals have on sediment transport in the estuary and deposition in
downstream tidal wetlands, including how these dam-derived sediments might help offset future sea level rise impacts.
Project leaders will address needs identified by managers and regulators to assess the immediate impacts of sediment that is released when a dam is removed, as well as the longer-term implications. The approach combines field observations with analysis of sediment transport using a proven hydrodynamic model. The project will develop watershed assessment tools for permitting dam removals and establish an improved scientific basis for considering the potential downstream benefits in regulatory decision-making.
Keywords: NERRS, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, dam removal
This project will 1) quantify pathogens, nutrients, and sediment delivery to the Rachel Carson Reserve; 2) create predictive models for shellfish and recreational waters in the North Carolina Reserve by using this information, along with decades of historical data; 3) engage stakeholders and end users to prioritize management options; and 4) engage coastal decision makers, community members, K-12 students, and teachers in hands-on education on stormwater runoff and its impacts.
Keywords: NERRS, Rachel Carson Reserve, stormwater runoff
This project will assess the ecosystem services of shellfish farming by measuring impacts of newly established farms in the North Carolina Research Reserve. Because there is an opportunity to assess conditions before farm installation, North Carolina estuaries provide an ideal place to measure these effects. Two years of intensive sampling in and adjacent to oyster farms, concentrating on wild shellfish resources and the physical and chemical environment will aim to link small-scale changes with large-scale ecosystem-level alterations. Coastal managers, state agencies, and shellfish farmers will provide input throughout the course of the project to ensure that the study parameters align with decision-making needs. The project will culminate with the production of visualization tools and models to allow resource managers, culturists, and reserve staff members to make better decisions when determining the locations and scales of shellfish farming operations.
Keywords: NEERS research, North Carolina Research Reserve, Shellfish farming, Oyster
Helicobacter pylori infection has been consistently associated with lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation, but no studies have demonstrated that the transmission of viable but nonculturable (VBNC) H. pylori can occur from drinking contaminated water. In this study, we used a laboratory mouse model to test whether waterborne VBNCH. pylori could cause gastric infection.
Sustainability is a concept that can be applied across all professions, even those that may not immediately come to mind, like dentistry. But how dentists conduct their practices have both environmental and economic sustainability implications. A Dow Sustainability Fellows team addressed the dearth of data and resources on sustainable dentistry through a three-part study of 1) a review of current sustainable practices in medical and dental facilities, 2) a case study at the U-M School of Dentistry, and 3) a sustainability toolkit for dental clinics that draws on the results of the review and the dentistry case study.
Keywords: University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Green Dentistry Practices, GreenHealth, Greening the Dental Clinic Toolkit
Objectives: Gastric carcinoma is the most common cancer and cause of cancer mortality in Peru. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that colonizes the human stomach, is a Group 1 carcinogen due to its causal relationship to gastric carcinoma. While eradication of H. pylori can help prevent gastric cancer, characterizing regional antibiotic resistance patterns is necessary to determine targeted treatment for each region. Thus, we examined primary antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates of H. pylori in Lima, Peru.
Materials and methods: H. pylori strains were isolated from gastric biopsies of patients with histologically proven H. pylori infection. Primary antibiotic resistance among isolates was examined using E-test strips. Isolates were examined for the presence of the cagA pathogenicity island and the vacA m1/m2 alleles via polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Seventy-six isolates were recovered from gastric biopsies. Clinical isolates showed evidence of antibiotic resistance to 1 (27.6%, n=21/76), 2 (28.9%, n=22/76), or ≥3 antibiotics (40.8%). Of 76 isolates, eight (10.5%) were resistant to amoxicillin and clarithromycin, which are part of the standard triple therapy for H. pylori infection. No trends were seen between the presence of cagA, vacA m1, or vacA m2 and antibiotic resistance.
Conclusion: The rate of antibiotic resistance among H. pylori isolates in Lima, Peru, is higher than expected and presents cause for concern. To develop more targeted eradication therapies for H. pylori in Peru, more research is needed to better characterize antibiotic resistance among a larger number of clinical isolates prospectively.
Access to grocery stores, a critical component food security, has consistently been linked to better health outcomes. Full-service grocery stores stock fresh fruits and vegetables daily and have competitive prices. However, in West Tallahatchie and other food insecure areas, the primary source of food is from convenience stores that sell a lot of processed, unhealthy foods. Research data supports the link between a community’s location in a food desert and negative health impacts. These same areas – usually low-income, communities of color, and rural areas – often have the most trouble attracting full-service grocery stores. This fact sheet outlines the activities of a Dow Fellows team, from the University of Michigan, and how they engaged people in the community to document the needs and the barriers that hindered previous local food security initiatives.
Keywords: Poverty, food access, food insecurity, empowerment, Dow Fellows Program
There has recently been an increase in natural gas extraction efforts across the U.S., including in Michigan. Much of this increase is due to the expanded use of the process called hydraulic fracturing–popularly known as “fracking,” a method of natural gas extraction used since the 1940s. Fracking has been at the center of both wide support and concern by community members, industry, and state governments. This 2-page fact sheet provides a summary of a research project, read the report: http://graham.umich.edu/emopps/hydraulic-fracturing
Key Terms: It’s important to understand the terms “fracking,” “hydraulic fracturing,” and “high volume hydraulic fracturing.” Many people use the term fracking to describe the entire natural gas extraction process–including leasing, drilling, and well completion. Hydraulic fracturing is the injection of fluids (e.g., water, chemicals) into rock to create fissures or cracks that allow natural gas or oil to be pumped to the surface of the ground and used. The State of Michigan defines high volume hydraulic fracturing as hydraulic fracturing that uses a large volume–more than 100,000 gallons–of fluid injected into rock to extract oil or gas.
This summary covers the need for oil spill responders require accurate, up-to-date information to ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to a spill. New technologies present an opportunity for responders to use real-time information about a spill and the conditions affecting it. Electronic maps can be used to create dynamic oil spill response plans, allowing responders to react immediately to changing conditions in the field. These plans can be accessed using a tablet, cellphone, or computer, and are expected to improve oil spill response times, potentially preventing a small spill from becoming a larger one.
The project team’s pilot work in the Western Lake Erie Basin demonstrates the potential for electronic plans to be applied throughout the Great Lakes region.
See: Project Website
Keywords: Oil Spill Response Plan, Electronic, Western Lake Erie Basin, Great Lakes region, water quality, David Dean, Colin Brooks, Arthur Endsley, Michigan Tech Research Institute