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September 2016 Newsletter

A Closer Look #164

Group photo aboard the W.G. Jackson

Israeli scientists visit AWRI

A symposium titled: Sustainable Management of Iconic Lakes- Lessons Learned from Lake Michigan and Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was recently held at MSU and AWRI.  Lake Kinneret experts from Israel were paired with Lake Michigan specialists to exchange knowledge and ideas about sustainable management of freshwater resources.  A range of research and management topics and panel discussions about challenges and influences affecting the two water bodies, including aquatic invasive species, tourism, water quality, and the status of each lake’s fishery, were featured. 

The main symposium was held on the MSU campus, but discussions in East Lansing don’t quite capture the beauty and complexity of Lake Michigan, so the second day of the symposium was held at the Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI), where we engaged in more detailed conversations and experienced the lake on board the W.G. Jackson, one of AWRI’s research and education vessels.

Lake Kinneret is 13 miles long, has a 33-mile shoreline, and is located entirely in Israel. Lake Michigan is 307 miles long, has 1640-mile shoreline, and is located on the west side of the bi-national Great Lakes Basin. The shores of Lake Kinneret are lush with dates, mangoes, and olives, while Michigan farmers nurture crops like cherries, corn, and potatoes. Despite their differences in size and location, these significant water bodies have a surprising amount in common. Both lakes are important drinking water sources; are popular tourist locations; have historic, spiritual and cultural significance; and play central roles in their respective local economies.

In an era where fresh water is an increasingly vital natural resource, managers and researchers can benefit from sharing lessons learned in adapting to and facing water challenges. These lessons help inform decisions to promote sustainable management and protection of water resources. The organizers of this event hope that this unique scientific and cultural exchange will yield new opportunities and collaborations in the fields of research and management.