Nutrient Sensor Challenge winners to be announced at ASLO conference March 2

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HONOLULU, HI (Feb.27, 2017)–The winners of the Nutrient Sensor Challenge will be announced at a special awards session at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography Aquatic Sciences (ASLO) meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Thursday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. HAST.

For the past two years, the Challenging Nutrients Coalition has been working to facilitate the development of nutrient sensors that will provide the data needed to inform decisions to reduce nutrient loads on land, in the air, and in waterways and to track progress. Nutrient pollution is one of the nation's most difficult environmental challenges. While nutrients are essential compounds for functioning ecosystems and the production of food, fiber, and livestock feed, excessive nutrient levels can dramatically alter aquatic environments and threaten economic and human health.

The Coalition is an extensive collaboration between government agencies (including Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Geological Survey, and National Institute of Standards Technology), NGOs, and academia that deploys open innovation and incentive prize approaches to advance nutrient pollution management and reduction. To stimulate these new innovations, the Coalition launched the Nutrient Sensor Challenge in December 2014 in collaboration with the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT). Using a market stimulation model, the Nutrient Sensor Challenge aimed to accelerate the development, production, and use of affordable, reliable, and accurate nutrient sensors. These sensors will enable automated and high-resolution nutrient monitoring in aquatic environments ranging from freshwater lakes and streams to the coastal ocean.

The challenge goal was for new, more accurate, precise and reliable technologies to be commercially available by 2017 for a purchase price of less than $5,000 and with other significant savings in cost-of-ownership. After two years of development, and rigorous field and laboratory testing by ACT, the winners have been selected by an independent panel of expert judges will be announced at ASLO.

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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland's natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. http://www.umces.edu

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