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FGCU Launches New Water Research Initiative

Andrea Perdomo
A Florida Gulf Coast University Water School Flag waves on a university research boat.

Note: WGCU Public Media is a member-supported service of Florida Gulf Coast University.

Florida Gulf Coast University announced a new interdisciplinary initiative to lead the way toward solving the state's water problems. 

Nestled along Estero Bay, FGCU’s Vestor Marine and Environmental Science Research Field station was  the launching point for the university’s new initiative called The Water School.  

The Water School aims to solve Florida’s many water issues by using a holistic approach that will encompass environmental, social and health sciences with business and engineering.

FGCU's president, Dr. Mike Martin, made the announcement.

“We’ve had considerable expertise around water for a number of years, but we’ve never really worked at convalescing it and then using that to bring in some new partners," Martin said. "So, today is one of those days where you say, 'A maturing university just took a leap forward in its maturation.'”

Martin said FGCU’s location — in the midst of both critical freshwater and saltwater systems — gives the university’s scholars a unique position to help solve Florida’s water woes.  

Martin also said he hopes The Water School’s research can one day help water systems throughout the world.

“We’re open for collaborations to bring visiting scientists here to work with them to not only solve problems here, but elsewhere," Martin said.

For now, The Water School will be housed out of the University’s Emergent Technologies Institute, but plans are already underway for a new research laboratory building.

Credit Andrea Perdomo / WGCU
Florida Gulf Coast University President Dr. Mike Martin speaks at Vestor Marine and Environmental Science Research Field Station to announce a new interdisciplinary initiative called The Water School.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.