The mission of the Annis Water Resources Institute is to integrate research, education, and outreach to preserve and enhance water resources. AWRI faculty and staff took this mission to heart during two major events in October. On October 1, we hosted the kick-off event for the Muskegon Lake Research Endowment Fund. This fund, administered by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, provides a long-term dedicated funding source to monitor the ecological status of Muskegon Lake. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Bill Jackson and the Muskegon Sportfishing Association who provided major lead donations to get the Fund off to a fantastic start. The information generated from this work will be used by the Muskegon Lake Public Advisory Council (PAC) to assist them in the process of getting Muskegon Lake 'de-listed' as one of the 42 Areas of Concern (AOC) throughout the Great Lakes.
The second major October event occurred on October 21 and 22, when AWRI co-hosted the third biennial State of Lake Michigan (State of the Lake) conference. Over 250 scientists, government and elected officials, decision-makers, and stakeholders attended this conference; special sessions were devoted to watersheds, invasive species, and web-based information tools. Special thanks both to Janet Vail of AWRI for organizing this conference and to Judy Beck of USEPA for helping to sponsor the event.