Project NePTWNE Aims to Improve Lake Erie Water Quality

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ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — The old Union Fish Co. building in Wolverine Park Marina will soon take on new life.

Gannon University is seeking $1.5 million from Erie County, to transform the old building into the Great
Lakes Research and Education Center.

The facility will be used to test water samples for micro-plastics and other pollutants currently found in Lake Erie.

“All things from other lakes come down to Lake Erie,” said Gannon University President Dr. Keith Taylor. “This project is really about how do we do our part to ensure that we are sustaining one of the largest resources of water.”

The new research center is part of a $24 million initiative known as Project NePTWNE (Nano & Polymer

Technology for Water and Neural-Networks in Erie).

The six-phase project aims to address Lake Erie’s water quality by removing and preventing pollutants from entering the lake.

“The measurement piece, we have drones that measure air quality as well as submersible drones that can measure what’s going on in the water,” said Dr. Taylor. “We can manufacture those in our new manufacturing facility which is currently under construction.”

According to Erie County Executive Brenton Davis, Project NePTWNE falls in tandem with Project Resolve.

“These are the two lead initiatives identified in the investment playbook,” said Davis. “They are job creators. They connect us with the blue economy.”

According to Dr. Taylor, Project NePTWNE will help preserve Lake Erie while growing the local economy.

“We have an opportunity to have Erie be a location where researchers, people from the rest of the world come to look at how we create sustainable water supply,” said Dr. Taylor. “It can be the start of a whole new venture for Erie as a tourist and research destination on Lake Erie.”


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