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USF Engineering prof. receives Gates Foundation Grand Challenges funding

USF Engineering prof. receives Gates Foundation Grand Challenges funding

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of South Florida announced Monday it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.

Daniel Yeh, associate professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, will pursue an innovative global health research project, titled "NEWgenerator for recovery of nutrients, energy and water from human wastes."

EPC launches new online permit application tracker

EPC launches new online permit application tracker

The Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC) has launched an online tool that allows interested parties to find out the status of environmental permit applications submitted to EPC for review.

EPC handles more than 1,000 requests for 30 different types of permits that impact our environment each year.

Breakwater giving birds a break

Breakwater giving birds a break

Riverview, Florida -- The sun is out and the water is smooth as Audubon of Florida's Ann Paul guides us to a special place.

"We're headed out to the Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary in eastern Hillsborough Bay," said Paul while steering her small boat.

The small spoil island doesn't look like much, but each year some 10,000 pairs of birds nest there, including imperiled species like American Oystercatchers and Roseate Spoonbills.

"This is one of the most important spots for wildlife in the state of Florida-actually the United States of America," said Paul.

Agriculture rebounds in Hillsborough

Agriculture rebounds in Hillsborough

Hillsborough County, FL -- The Hillsborough County Agriculture Industry Development Program and County Extension recently released the agriculture sales and acreage estimates for 2010 and despite a sagging economy and a hard winter, agriculture in the county has made a strong recovery.

Tampa Water Dept. offers grants to county teachers

Tampa Water Dept. offers grants to county teachers

Hillsborough County, FL -- The City of Tampa Water Department is offering Hillsborough County teachers classroom grants to help teach students how to use water more efficiently.

The grants ranging from $250 to $1,000, are available to teachers in grades K-12 whose schools are served by the Tampa Water Department.

In addition to teaching at a school in Tampa's service area, qualifying teachers must have completed a Project WET workshop.  Project WET is an interactive water education program with classroom activities and lessons correlated to the Sunshine State Standards. The workshops are provided free to educators by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Sewage line break closes Ben T. Davis

Sewage line break closes Ben T. Davis

Tampa, FL -- A Health Advisory has been issued for Ben T. Davis beach as a precautionary measure due to a sewage line break in the area.

The Hillsborough County Health Department has recommended to the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department that Ben T. Davis beach be closed to the bathing public as precautionary measure until sampling can be to done to ensure the safety of the public.

Members of the community and visitors should consider a health risk to swim in the area until the water can be sampled and tested to confirm that the water is within the satisfactory range as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) and the Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP).