Erie, PA —  Erie County Community College (EC3) proudly stands as a member of the Regional Science Consortium (RSC), honored with the 2024 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. Recognized for their outstanding project titled “The Restoration of Nationally Designated Priority Wetlands at Presque Isle State Park.” EC3 faculty and students have played a vital role in advancing the consortium’s initiatives.

The award-winning endeavor focused on the restoration of nationally designated priority wetlands within Presque Isle State Park. Through meticulous efforts such as invasive plant removal, propagation, and installation of native flora, as well as thorough surveillance of various plant and animal populations including marsh birds, amphibians, fish, mussels, and macroinvertebrates, the project aimed at reinstating ecological balance. Collaborative endeavors involving students, park staff, and the Weed Warrior volunteer group contributed significantly to the identification and eradication of invasive species.

“The Regional Science Consortium connects EC3 to a network of people and organizations dedicated to the work that this award recognizes,” said Dr. Stuart Blacklaw, Dean of Academics at EC3.  “We’re proud to be part of this work and gratified to see that these important local efforts are recognized well beyond our community.” The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence serves as a prestigious accolade open to entities across Pennsylvania, including businesses, farms, government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations, that have demonstrated exemplary commitment to environmental preservation through innovative projects.

Founded in 2004, the Regional Science Consortium (RSC) operates as a non-profit organization facilitating research, education, and collaborative efforts among its member institutions. Situated within the research wing of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) since its inception in May 2006, the RSC has been at the forefront of fostering scientific research collaborations. Its overarching mission revolves around promoting and augmenting understanding of the ecosystems within the Lake Erie and Ohio River Basin through dedicated research and educational initiatives.