Florida Tech Scientist Earns Grant to Study Crystal River, Kings Bay

– Dr. Thomas Belanger, Florida Institute of Technology professor of environmental science,
received a $50,500 grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to study the sediment of the Crystal River at Kings Bay. The Surface Water
Improvement and Management Section of the district initiated the study to assess the current status of sediment in Kings Bay.

This area, located on Florida’s west coast, north of Tampa, has 30 existing springs and serves one of the largest subpopulations of manatees known. It has
been designated a critical habitat by the Endangered Species Act.

Project data will be used to map the sediments’ physical and chemical characteristics, as well as assessing the sources of organic matter. The study’s
objectives are to determine the role of sediments in the bay’s degradation and compare sediment changes since 1993, when Belanger conducted a previous
study on the area. The information will provide a database for use in making future management decisions.

Belanger is a member of the North American Lake Management Society, American Water Resources Association and the American Society of Limnology and
Oceanography. His teaching duties at Florida Tech include courses in water resources, limnology, climatology, environmental planning and environmental
impact assessment.

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