As part of the "Making Lake Michigan Great" tour, the W.G. Jackson traveled to Grand Haven to dock next to the Earth Voyager, the fastest sailing vessel on the Great Lakes. "Making Lake Michigan Great" is a Lake Michigan Forum project funded by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office that spreads the word about the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP). Thirty-one ports of call in Lake Michigan have been visited by the W.G. Jackson as part of "Making Lake Michigan Great".
The Earth Voyager was in Grand Haven on August 6-10 as part of a 13-city tour to raise awareness of the benefits of restoring Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes. In particular, the Healing Our Waters campaign is calling on Congress and presidential candidates to commit to cleaning up Great Lakes toxic hotspots and restoring damaged fisheries, as a means of expediting Michigan's economic recovery. At the press conference in Grand Haven, U.S. Congressmen Vern Ehlers and Peter Hoekstra reaffirmed the need for restoration and protection of the Great Lakes. Dr. Alan Steinman, Director of AWRI, spoke about the role of science in restoration efforts. This was followed by a press tour out to Lake Michigan on the W.G. Jackson.
Other Jackson events in Grand Haven included two water quality sampling cruises for the general public. An open house on the Jackson drew almost 250 people. The events on August 6-10 were sponsored by the GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute, Alliance for the Great Lakes, City of Grand Haven, Clean-up Our River Environment, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Michigan Sea Grant, Ottawa County Conservation District, Grand Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau, and others.
Earlier in the summer, the Jackson traveled to Michigan City, Indiana for three days of events. Danielle Barnett, LaMP / RAP Coordinator from the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management, organized six cruises on the Jackson. Al Walus, General Manager of the Michigan City Sanitary District, coordinated four additional cruises. The tour made the front page of the News-Dispatch, the local newspaper. A grant for "Making Lake Michigan Great 2009" has been sought, according to Dr. Janet Vail of AWRI, Lake Michigan Forum Co-Chair.