NOAA 2006-R275
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pat Slattery
9/25/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


CELEBRATE 200 YEARS OF GREAT LAKES SCIENCE AND SERVICE AT NOAA OPEN HOUSE

NOAA’s National Weather Service, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary will jointly host the NOAA Great Lakes Open House on Saturday, September 30. The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at NOAA’s National Weather Service Detroit forecast office, located at 9200 White Lake Road in White Lake, Mich.

“Michigan residents have a unique opportunity to witness the contributions of three distinct NOAA offices in one location,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Many people know about the National Weather Service but they may be surprised to learn that the National Ocean Service and NOAA Research have significant presences in Michigan, that play important roles in the stewardship of Great Lakes resources.”

The open house provides an opportunity for the public to meet NOAA staff and see examples of NOAA benefits in their neighborhood during guided tours. Visitors will be able to learn about weather forecast operations, ecosystem forecasting, water levels, invasive aquatic species, shipwrecks, and many other operational and research activities in the Great Lakes. NOAA staff will launch weather balloons every hour and conduct demonstrations of how marine instruments work. Informational brochures and interactive compact discs will also be available.

“We encourage area residents to take advantage of the opportunity to see how three distinct but interrelated NOAA entities contribute to area science and ecological well-being,” said Richard Wagenmaker, meteorologist-in-charge of the Detroit forecast office.

Weather records for southeast Michigan date back to 1779. Records were kept sporadically until permanent observations were established in 1849. The U.S. Army Signal Corps took over in 1870, and observations later became the responsibility of the U.S. Weather Bureau, and then today’s National Weather Service. Today, the Detroit weather forecast office provides weather and flood forecasts and warnings to a population of more than six million people in 17 counties covering 14,084 square miles and provides marine weather services for Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair.

Established in 1962, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory conducts integrated, interdisciplinary environmental research in support of resource management and environmental services in coastal and estuarine waters. The laboratory staff performs field, analytical and laboratory investigations to improve understanding and prediction of coastal and estuarine processes, and the interdependencies with the atmosphere and sediments. It places special emphasis on a systems approach to problem-oriented research to develop environmental service tools. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is one of four NOAA research offices not located in coastal states; the others are the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., and the Earth System Research Laboratory and the Air Resources Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.

Established in 2000, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve maintains stewardship over one of the nation’s most historically significant collections of shipwrecks. The sanctuary, located off the northeast corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, contains hundreds of shipwrecks preserved by the cold, fresh water of Lake Huron. The submerged cultural resources are links to the country’s collective maritime history.

In 2007, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Union to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov

National Weather Service in Detroit: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary: http://thunderbay.noaa.gov