Weston Partners with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Improve Our Nation’s Water Quality

WEST CHESTER, Pa., Feb. 6, 2013 – Weston Solutions entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, a research laboratory within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research located in Miami, Florida. A CRADA is a contract with a federal entity to facilitate sharing of joint research and development.

Under the CRADA, Weston’s microbiology expertise and unique holistic approach to watershed studies will be combined with cutting-edge molecular assays and pathogen detection. Weston scientists will partner with renowned NOAA environmental molecular biologist, Dr. Kelly Goodwin, to tackle key water quality issues throughout the United States, including the need to rapidly detect fecal indicator bacteria, quantitative microbial source tracking (MST), development and implementation of bacteria total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), natural source exclusion, and support for quantitative microbial risk assessment.

Weston has long maintained an ELAC-certified microbiology laboratory, and recently expanded its lab capacity to support state-of-the-art molecular biology analysis, including real-time polymerase chain reaction. Dr. Goodwin stated, “Weston’s expanded laboratory capabilities and expertise in field sampling and watershed studies are a great fit with my experience. The molecular technology of MST allows fecal source identification, such as birds, dogs, and humans, to support projects throughout the country. Through this partnership with NOAA, Weston gains access to decades of experience, lessons learned and proven protocols to deliver solutions. We will design and implement studies to address tough questions to help improve water quality.”

In California, Weston has proven experience in watershed studies that incorporate traditional and molecular microbiology, including the Tijuana River and Poche Beach Watersheds. Weston is currently supporting TMDL implementation at Port of Los Angeles Inner Cabrillo Beach, including evaluation of Natural Source Exclusion eligibility. The Weston Team is using scientific technology to understand sources of bacterial contamination in recreational waterways (e.g., beaches, bays, creeks, rivers) to identify solutions and conduct negotiations on behalf of clients with regulatory agencies.