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Associate Dean James Porter’s Vieques research cited by CNN

Feb. 15, 2010

Writer: Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu

Contact: James W. Porter, jporter@uga.edu

A CNN Special Investigations team reports that residents of Vieques are suing the U.S. government over contamination left behind by the U.S. military.  For almost 60 years, the U.S. Navy used a base on the island of Vieques as a firing range and to conduct weapons tests.  Residents fear that contamination from the military’s activities are the cause of numerous illnesses, including an elevated rate of cancer.  The CNN report cites research by James Porter, Associate Dean of the Odum School of Ecology, documenting the extent and condition of the unexploded munitions that remain on the former base and surrounding coastal waters.  Porter has found that the corroding bombs are leaching dangerous levels of eight carcinogenic compounds into the surrounding environment.  These compounds are now being found in marine biota such as nearby corals, sea urchins, and fish.

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