J. Lewis Decell received his BS in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University and his MS in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida, conducting additional graduate work at the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1973, Mr. Decell was placed in charge of the Corps of Engineers (COE) Aquatic Plant Control Program’s research. As founder and architect of the COE developing research, he formed the Aquatic Plant Control Research Program and directed to national prominence funding research at the Waterways Experiment Station as well as various universities throughout the US, Australia and England. Mr. Decell instituted and instilled the concept of environmentally compatible aquatic control measures throughout the COE APCRP programs.
Mr. Decell instituted various cooperative research agreements with federal agencies, universities and industry. He served as the first Executive Director of the Aquatic Ecosystem Research Foundation (AERF) and served as President of the National Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS), the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society (SCAPMS) and the Mid-South Aquatic Plant Management Society (MSAPMS). He is an Honorary Member of the APMS, SCAPMS, and the MSAPMS.
Mr. Decell received numerous Corps of Engineer, National and State and Industry awards, including a Distinguished Service Award presented by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1991.
In addition to the serving as National Program Manager of the APCRP, Mr. Decell served as National Program Manager of COE Water Quality Research Program (WQRP) and the COE Natural Resources Research Program (NRRP).
Mr. Decell retired from the COE in 1995. He resides in Vicksburg, MS.