FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MIAMI — The Everglades Foundation proudly signed an MOU between the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (Canada) and the Miami based non-profit. Appearing at the Canadian Consulate in downtown Miami, flanked by Consul General Louise Léger and Everglades Foundation board member Rex Hamilton, Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg signed the partnership on behalf of the Everglades Foundation.
The agreement enables the Foundation to receive its first international partner. The $10 million global competition is a multi-year effort that will incentivize scientists and entrepreneurs from around the world to design and complete a cost-effective technology to remove excess phosphorus from freshwater bodies.
The competition will incorporate multiple stages and benchmarks, mimicking the natural stages of technology development, with annual events and awards. It is scheduled to formally launch in 2016.
“The goal of the prize is to find a solution to an issue that plagues America’s Everglades and freshwater bodies around the globe,” said Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation CEO. “Having the province of Ontario share in our goal and join us in our mission to find a solution is an honor, and this partnership will go a long way toward helping build awareness of the threat of phosphorus pollution to the global water supply.”
“The Government of the Province of Ontario is taking several actions on water quality issues and this Everglades Foundation Challenge is aligned with goals made by the Ministry” said Tom Kaszas, Director of the Ministry’s Environmental Innovations Branch. “During the next few months, both parties will explore areas of collaboration including generating greater public awareness of the phosphorus problem and providing technical support.”
Over the past decades, states and provinces around the Great Lakes have experienced an increase in the number of harmful algae bloom events as a result of excess phosphorus.
In the U.S., nutrient pollution is considered “one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems…resulting in serious environmental and human health issues, and impacting the economy,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with “40 percent of the nation’s rivers and streams impacted by high levels of phosphorus.”