Great Lakes Day/Semiannual Meeting scheduled
The 2008 Semiannual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission will be held in conjunction with Great Lakes Day, Feb. 26-28 in Washington, D.C. Holding these two events together will bring a heightened Great Lakes presence to the U.S. capital to help lay out the region's congressional priorities for the coming year, as well as revisiting an an old tradition of holding the Commission's Semiannual Meeting in Washington. For more information, see www.glc.org/meeting. Contact: Tim Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great Lakes Wind Collaborative
The Great Lakes Commission has agreed to facilitate the work of a diverse group of stakeholders supporting the development of wind energy in the Great Lakes region. Under the working name the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative, the initiative will identify and address the technical, environmental, regulatory, educational and financial issues related to the development of wind energy resources. The initiative comes at a time when wind energy is gaining increasing momentum in North America and the Great Lakes region in particular, driven by technological advances, concerns over climate change and the increasing costs of conventional energy supplies. The Collaborative will assist state and local officials in comparing wind to other generation options in the broader context of risks and benefits, as well as draw upon the experiences of states with established wind energy programs for the benefit of those in the early stages of wind development. The initiative will be modeled after the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, which has addressed many of these same issues on a national level. Contact: John Hummer, email@example.com.
TEACH CD now available
The Education And Curriculum Homesite (TEACH), the recently revamped K-12 education component of the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN), is now available on CD-ROM. Funded by the Project AWARE Foundation, Michigan Sea Grant and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, an initial run of 2,000 copies of the CD will be distributed to schools and other regional education centers by partner organizations, including the Great Lakes Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE).
The CD-ROM contains sample lesson modules and the glossary from TEACH, along with additional lesson plans, activities and materials developed especially for the CD. For more information, visit teach.glin.net or contact Christine Manninen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
MiCorps offers water quality monitoring grants
MiCorps, the Michigan Clean Water Corps, has announced two grant opportunities for volunteer stream monitoring organizations in the state. The Volunteer Stream Monitoring Grant Program and the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Start-Up Grant Program provide grants for volunteer organizations to conduct water quality monitoring in wadeable streams and rivers; the latter grant is for newly formed organizations. The state-funded program assists the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in collecting and sharing water quality data for use in water resources management and protection programs. The program, which is administered by the Great Lakes Commission, held its third annual conference Oct. 15-16, 2007, in Higgins Lake, Mich. For more information, see www.micorps.net. Contact: John Hummer, email@example.com.
Applications accepted for Sea Grant Fellowship
Applications are now being accepted for the 2008 Great Lakes Commission - Sea Grant Fellowship. This is an opportunity to work with members of the Great Lakes' science, policy and information/education communities to advance the environmental quality and sustainable economic development goals of the Great Lakes states. In so doing, the Fellow will contribute to and benefit from research coordination and policy analysis activities. This one-year assignment is based at the Great Lakes Commission offices in Ann Arbor, Mich. Deadline for applications is Feb. 29, 2008. For more information, see www.glc.org/about/scholarships/fellow.html. Contact: Tom Crane, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy and legislation
The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 has become law, after Congress voted to overturn a presidential veto of the bill. The Senate voted 79-14 to overturn the veto on Nov. 8, two days after a House vote of 361-54. A two-thirds majority in each was required.
The bill includes authorization for several long-sought Great Lakes initiatives among its provisions. Among them are:
- Full federal support for completing and maintaining the invasive species dispersal barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal;
- Full federal support for construction of a second Soo Lock capable of accommodating modern 1,000-foot freighters;
- The Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration program, a $100 million authority for projects to restore fisheries and beneficial uses of Great Lakes, including coastal wetland restoration, restoration of fishery passages, and controlling invasive species;
- Projects consistent with the Lake St. Clair Management Plan, including real-time monitoring of chemical spills in the St. Clair River, watershed habitat restoration and phragmite eradication and control;
- Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans and Sediment Remediation, authorizing technical assistance to states and local groups for restoration of Areas of Concern;
- The Great Lakes Tributary Modeling Program, developing watershed models to assist in the planning and management of soil conservation and pollution prevention activities;
- The John Glenn Great Lakes Basin program, providing broad authority for basinwide studies of strategic and emerging issues in Great Lakes, including priority issues of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.
President Bush vetoed the bill on Nov. 2, calling its $23 billion in authorizations for national water projects excessive. However, WRDA supporters note that the bill only provides the legal authority for such projects, and that funding appropriations must be approved separately.
Featured project: Great Lakes Tributary Modeling
The Great Lakes Tributary Modeling Program develops sediment transport models for Great Lakes tributaries which discharge to federal navigation channels or Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs). The objective is to develop tools for watershed planning that are useable and will be used by stakeholders who make decisions about soil conservation and nonpoint pollution prevention measures, and by others supporting these activities. The Great Lakes Commission provides technical and administrative support for the program, which is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in collaboration with the Great Lakes states. By supporting state and local measures that reduce sediment loads and pollutants to tributaries, the program helps to reduce the need for - and cost of -
navigation dredging, while promoting actions to delist Great Lakes AOCs. For more information, see www.glc.org/tributary. Contact: Laura Kaminski, email@example.com.
- Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species Meeting
November 28-29, 2007
Ann Arbor, Mich.
- 2008 Semiannual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission and
Great Lakes Day in Washington
Feb. 26-28, 2008
- 2008 Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission
Oct. 6-7, 2008
Québec City, Québec
Great Lakes Commission
Eisenhower Corporate Park
2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
A News Briefs archive can be found at www.glc.org/email/archive