NOAA 2003-R503
Contact: Jana Goldman
NOAA News Releases 2003
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A Great Lakes restoration initiative has received a grant of $315,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Awarded to the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute and administered by Michigan Sea Grant, the grant will be used to develop science-based restoration priorities and understand successful strategies used by other regions. With matching support from the commission and the institute, the total funding for the initiative will be $473,000.

“Through our grants program, NOAA is able to actively support and help create initiatives such as this that reinforce our commitment to the environment,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA is proud to provide funding to this restoration effort.”

The Great Lakes congressional delegation asked the area’s governors to develop a long-range restoration program for the five Great Lakes.

"As a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, I have supported the development of Great Lakes restoration priorities and the need for additional funding. I applaud NOAA's efforts to provide this grant that will take us a step closer to our vision of a restored and revitalized Great Lakes ecosystem," said Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH)

"As the GAO reported recently, there needs to be better coordination on Great Lakes restoration priorities, and I am pleased that NOAA is providing resources that will help the region advance restoration," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)

Containing 20 percent of the earth’s fresh surface water, the Great Lakes also are the centerpiece of the region’s natural resources that drive the economies of two nations, eight states, and two provinces that share jurisdiction. The grant will support two key pieces of the Council of Great Lakes Governors’ restoration initiative.

The Great Lakes Commission, in partnership with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network programs, will provide technical and scientific support to the region’s leadership in the development of a comprehensive ecosystem restoration plan. The two-year initiative will research ecosystem problems and needs, assess existing restoration initiatives, conduct focus groups that build on the development of state and provincial priorities, and convene a restoration planning forum to assemble outcomes.

The Northeast-Midwest Institute will compare and contrast other major restoration initiatives to develop a series of lessons relevant to the Great Lakes. It will also review the legislative history of key national, international, and Great Lakes region-based efforts to develop a useful reference for new legislators and policy makers.

“Sea Grant’s seven Great Lakes programs are uniquely suited to assist in the identification and ranking of regional policy issues and research needs and capabilities,” said Ronald C. Baird, Ph.D. director, National Sea Grant College Program and associate director of ocean research for NOAA Research. “We look forward to being a partner in this initiative.”

So far this year, NOAA has awarded more than 475 grants totaling $204.2 million to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for 33 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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