The Michigan Sea Grant College Program has received $2.1 million from the federal government, universities and partners in the first year of a four-year, $5 million grant to support Great Lakes research, education and public outreach efforts in the state.
Michigan Sea Grant received about $1.4 million from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and about $721,000 from U-M, Michigan State University and other partners for the first year of the grant.
“Our program focuses on the goals of research, outreach and education about coastal issues, and on understanding and improving the economic status of coastal communities,” said Jim Diana, director of Michigan Sea Grant and a professor of natural resources. “Funding will support training for coastal businesses, public outreach about critical issues and three new research projects.”
Michigan Sea Grant, a collaborative effort of U-M and MSU established in 1969, will continue its work connecting people to the Great Lakes. For example, in partnership with Michigan State, Sea Grant extension educators based in coastal communities will continue to focus on Michigan’s Great Lakes coastal issues.
Efforts that bring NOAA science and data to citizens, as well as communications on dangerous currents and other public health issues, will continue to be a priority. In addition, coastal specialists will continue supporting fish habitat efforts to restore spawning and nursery areas for native fish, such as the lake whitefish and lake sturgeon, and many other important initiatives throughout the state.
Michigan Sea Grant will also fund three new, two-year research projects focused on serious problems in the Great Lakes region:
• “Development of stable open channel design,” $225,295, Carol J. Miller, Wayne State University, principal investigator.
• “Governance approaches to foster Great Lakes literacy, $177,142, Shari L. Dann, MSU, principal investigator.
• “Where people meet the muck – muck in the Saginaw Bay,” $247,794, Donna Kashian, Wayne State, principal investigator.
“This research will help local communities address some of the challenging issues they are facing now, and in the future,” said Catherine Riseng, Michigan Sea Grant research program manager and an assistant research scientist at the School of Natural Resources and Environment. “It will also help make use of and build upon previous research and will be applicable to other communities.”
Matching funds from SNRE and MSU’s Greening Michigan Institute, as well as support from partners, is critical to leveraging NOAA funding to address strategic coastal issues in Michigan.
Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs in coastal areas around the country.