The Consumers Energy Foundation has awarded the Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) $9,950 to monitor the phytoplankton in Muskegon Lake. Phytoplankton are algal cells that grow and live in the water column-they are an important food source for other organisms in lakes but also can form potentially harmful algal blooms.
Muskegon Lake is one of "42 Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes." The EPA designation is based on the fact many of the lake's beneficial uses are considered impaired. A number of major restoration activities have been completed and are ongoing in Muskegon Lake. The funds provided by the Consumers Energy Foundation will allow AWRI researchers to continue the phytoplankton monitoring program that was begun in 2003, which will be used to assess the effectiveness of these activities in restoring the ecological health of Muskegon Lake.
Alan Steinman, director of the Annis Water Resources Institute and principal investigator of the monitoring program, said: "We are very grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for their corporate support; the restoration of Muskegon Lake requires the support and involvement of the general public, elected officials, local industry, and scientists. It is gratifying to see the Consumers Energy Foundation as a partner in this initiative."
About the Annis Water Resources Institute:
The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) is a multidisciplinary research organization committed to the study of freshwater resources. The mission of the institute is to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources. More information is available online at www.gvsu.edu/wri.
For more information, contact Al Steinman at (616) 331-3749, or GVSU News and Information Services at (616) 331-2221.