3 EPA J. 14 (1977)
Laboratory Dedicated at Narragansett

handle is hein.journals/epajrnl3 and id is 172 raw text is: LABORATORY

By Van Trumbul
E PA's new $4 million Environmental Re-
search Laboratory was dedicated re -
cently at Narragansett, R.I.,,with short talks
by two U.S. Senators, a week-long open house
for 3,500 visitors, a scientific symposium,
music ranging from classical string trios to
rock-and-roll, several picnics, and a sailing
Sitting on a grassy bank overlooking Nar-
ragansett Bay, which sparkled in the morning
sun, more than 300 persons heard Sen. Clai-
borne Pell, Rhode Island's senior Senator,
give the dedicatory address.
Sen. Pell praised EPA's research and devel-
opment work in preserving the natural re-
sources of the biosphere. It is particularly
appropriate, he said, that the Agency's major
laboratory concerned with marine ecology
should be located on Narragansett Bay, in the
Ocean State. Oceans and estuaries consti-
tute a vital part of the environment that must
be protected to sustain human life.
Pell said he hoped that some kind of inter-
national environmental impact study would
soon be required before any single nation
takes an action that can affect the quality of
ocean waters and their plant and animal life.
Rhode Island's junior Senator and former
Governor, John A. Chaffee, also spoke, as did
Dr. Wilson K. Talley, former EPA Assistant
Administrator for Research and Development,
and Dr. Clarence M. Tarzwell, director of the
laboratory until he retired five years ago.
Dr. Tarzwell recalled the founding of the
laboratory under the Federal Water Quality
Administration, an EPA predecessor agency,
12 years ago in rented quarters at the Univer-
sity of Rhode Island, West Kingston. We
were nine miles from the bay, Tarzwell said,
and had to carry the seawater for our exper-
iments in and out in tank trucks.
The laboratory was moved to its shore
location in 1973, and seawater is now piped
to its testing tanks. The new addition more
than doubles the space available for research
work, and many new facilities and improve-
ments have been added. Total cost of the
(Trumbull is a staff writer for EPA Journal)

expansion was $4 million, and the total new
floor space for wet labs, dry labs, offices,
and support facilities is 51,000 square feet.
About 85 scientists and other professionals
work there, as well as a support staff of 45
persons. Dr. Eric D. Schneider has been Di-
rector of this laboratory since 1972. Dr. Frank
G. Lowman is Deputy Director.
In concluding remarks, Dr. Schneider
praised the people of Rhode Island for their
support of EPA's marine work and their con-
fidence in the ultimate success of protecting
ocean life and resources. The new laboratory
with its fine equipment will help a great deal,
he said, but the collective energy and enthu-
siasm of its staff is still the greatest resource
we have at the Narragansett Laboratory.
A symposium on The State of Marine
Environmental Research was held at the
laboratory with 29 technical papers presented
by scientists from EPA, research institutions,
and ten universities ranging as far as Hawaii
and Miami. These papers will be published.
Keynote speaker for the symposium was the
famed ecologist, Dr. Eugene Odum, of the
University of Georgia, who said the three
E's, environment, energy, and employment
are synergistic, that is, they work together
and reinforce each other.
T he laboratory specializes in research
needed to find ways to restore and pro-
tect the quality of coastal and marine water
and to maintain healthful and productive hab-
itats for ocean life. Its principal divisions
* Bioassay. methods-development of test
systems to determine the effects of pollutants
on marine life.
* Ecosystems analysis-simulating ocean en-
vironments in the lab to learn how natural
populations of plants and animals live and
react to environmental changes.
* Oils-a special research effort on the effects
of petroleum products in seawater.
* Response parameters-are there early indi-
cators, short of death, of a pollutant's pres-
ence: changes in behavior, motility, feeding?
* Marine culture-how to grow fish and other
marine animals from eggs and larvae and rear
them successfully for use in laboratory re-
The laboratory at Narragansett is part of

what Sen. Pell called a golden triangle of
marine science on the Bay. Just south of the.
EPA lab is the Bay Campus of the University
of Rhode Island, with its own marine lab,
pier, research vessels, and Graduate School
of Oceanography. Across the road to the west
is a research station of the National Marine
Fisheries Service of the Commerce Depart-
ment's National Oceanic and Atmospheric
There is a good deal of formal and informal
information exchange among the three com-
ponents of the triangle, according to Dr.
Schneider. Scientists in each component are
stimulated by the presence of the other two,
and 38 university students are doing research
for their degrees under EPA scientists.
The week-long celebration of the new EPA
laboratory began on Sunday, June 12, with an
open house for all construction workers who
had built the laboratory. All employees of the
Cumberland Construction Co., associated
contractors, and their families, were invited
to visit the lab and bring their lunches. Picnic
tables, chowder, beer and soft drinks were
provided. About 300 persons attended, toured
the facilities and witnessed the exhibits of the
laboratory's work.
From Monday through Thursday that week
four 90-minute lab tours per day were con-
ducted for invited groups of students, senior
citizens' clubs, environmental and public in-
terest groups from all over the State.
A 60-foot tent on the grounds (occupying a
flat clay court usually used for noon-time
volley ball games) housed exhibits by a dozen
public and private organizations concerned
with fisheries, marine resources, and ocean-
The 110-foot barkentine Barba Negra
(Black Beard) sailed from New London,
Conn., to moor at the University pier for the
week, was open to visitors. Now owned bythe
environmental group SOS (for Save Our
Seas), the 81-year-old vessel was once a whale
chaser. Its harpoon cannon are still in place,
but its owners now work to preserve the
Each day at noon there was a live concert
of folk music, country music, barbershop
singing, chamber music, or hard rock. Friday
night there was a dedication concert by a
jazz group, Roomful of Blues, and a mime

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