Dr. Dale Chapman (left) receives an award from NGRREC Executive Director Dr. Gary Rolfe Thursday afternoon at the organization's 20th Anniversary celebration.

ALTON - The National Great Rivers Research & Education Center (NGRREC) held a celebration to commemorate the organization's 20th Anniversary Thursday afternoon in front of their research building.

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The celebration included some keynote speakers including NGRREC Executive Director Dr. Gary Rolfe, Dr. Dale Chapman, and Dr. Ellen Gilinsky. Each of them talked about where and how NGRREC started, what they're doing now, and their extensive plans for the future.

"It's truly a milestone in our development and I think over the last 20 years we've grown dramatically," Rolfe said during the event's opening remarks.

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"We've developed a comprehensive program and we're just really excited about how we're positioned today," he said. "I think our entire NGRREC team believes that we've laid the foundation to be a strong voice in policy issues and management issues related to water quality, interaction between water and land, and human interactions within those systems. That's been our mission since the beginning and it continues today."

Along with the speakers, there was also a short presentation of awards. Dr. Dale Chapman received an award from Rolfe. Others supposed to be receiving awards were Dr. Robert Easter, Dr. David Thomas, and Andrew Manar however they were unable to attend the event.

Multiple State Repesaantitives and other local politicians attended the event. They were all invited to the reception that followed the ceremony where they could tour NGRREC's research center and find out more information.

To find out more information about NGRREC, visit their website at www.ngrrec.org.

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