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US National Aeronautics and Space Administration funds project to study how tourism-shutdown is affecting Belize’s water quality

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Posted: Sunday, September 6, 2020. 11:13 am CST.

By BBN Staff: A team of researchers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has received a US $50,000 National Aeronautics and Space  Administration (NASA)  Rapid Response grant for a one-year study looking at how the tourism shutdown due to COVID-19 has affected the quality of coastal waters in Belize.

Dr. Robert Griffin, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science at UAH, and his team are studying how decreased tourism impacts urban and agricultural point and nonpoint resources of water pollutants. Griffin said that his team will be collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Belize to collect the water samples and will also incorporating a space-to-ground approach to data collection.

“The normally very substantial tourism industry was shut down, but agricultural activities continued so the idea is to see contributions each of these sources have to water quality in this area – which, of course, has implications for reef health,” Griffin said.

Griffin also notes that the study aligns with this larger Belize study, focused on coral reef health in the US Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage barrier reef site.

An article on the study and NASA grant was recently published by BizBangladesh.

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