The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and St. John’s River Water Management District announce funding for The George Barley Water Prize, an effort that aims to help solve the ongoing algae bloom crisis through scientific innovation
MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and St. John’s River Water Management District announced a $1 million commitment to The George Barley Water Prize, the world’s largest clean water prize, which is presented by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and sponsored by the Everglades Foundation.
In 2017, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation became the presenting sponsor of the Barley Prize with the commitment to raise public awareness for the global environmental crisis caused by harmful algae blooms that are fed by excess phosphorus runoff. The Foundation’s commitment came five years after The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company announced it was removing phosphorus from all of its lawn maintenance fertilizer products.
“The environmental challenges caused by algal blooms are pervasive across the U.S. again this summer, including in our home state of Ohio,” said Jim King, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “A problem of this scale cannot be solved by the actions of a single entity. The participation of the State of Florida in the Barley Prize reinforces the critical nature of this research and the true power of public-private partnerships. We want to thank the state for its commitment to this effort and hope its participation encourages other state environmental agencies to follow suit.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott said he was proud of the state’s involvement to support scientific innovation through the Barley Water Prize.
“Since I took office, we have established the nation’s most comprehensive nutrient water-quality standards and we are partnering with communities to find innovative solutions to continue to protect our environment,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “We’ve invested record amounts in our springs, made historic progress in Everglades restoration, and we will never stop working to protect and restore Florida’s environment.”
Harmful algae blooms are now a major crisis that impact coastal communities throughout Florida as well as many other states including Ohio and New York. Currently there is no sustainable, scalable and cost-effective solution to clean up water affected by algal blooms. Excess nutrients, especially phosphorus, feed these blooms. The Barley Prize offers $10 million to the person or team that develops the most cost-effective technology to remove and repurpose phosphorus from freshwater bodies.
Describing the potential impact of the Prize, Everglades Foundation Chief Scientist Dr. Melodie Naja said, “This water prize is not just about phosphorus, it’s about clean water. It’s about transforming the way we solve one of humanity’s greatest challenges: How to secure fresh water for future generations.”
Over the last decade The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has worked to educate consumers and ensure it’s products are not contributing to local water quality challenges. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation works to create more public awareness about the harmful algae bloom crisis and to fund the efforts of environmental partners across the country. In addition to support of the George Barley Water Prize, The Foundation supports coastal restoration, water research, and community education projects in critical watersheds throughout the United States.
About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation, and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit www.scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.
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