AWRI to host research workshop series

Great Lakes researchers will convene at Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon April 28-29, in the first of a series of workshops to explore research opportunities linking watersheds, drowned-river mouth systems and Lake Michigan. 

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) is working on this initiative in partnership with AWRI, along with the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, and the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership (PAC).

The collaborative initiative will build upon existing AWRI research programs in Muskegon Lake, GLERL research in near-shore and offshore Lake Michigan, and the work of other entities in the Muskegon River and watershed. The goal of the program is to link onshore, nearshore and offshore processes and move toward understanding and predicting the role of environmental stressors on ecosystem services, human health and societal needs.

Organizers hope the workshop will inform participants of current research and research capabilities around Muskegon, identify scientific needs, begin dialog for developing long-term collaborative and coordinated programs in Muskegon, and begin planning the next workshop focused on regional ecosystem restoration.

Discussion at the workshop will focus on steps needed to advance the integration of research and management in addressing priorities in the Lake Michigan watershed in the vicinity of Muskegon. Great Lakes researchers from GLERL, AWRI and the other project partners, will share their vision on applicable research, including topics like Lake Michigan ecosystem dynamics, food web and fisheries, ecosystem modeling, stressor-induced water quality impairments, harmful algal blooms, wetlands and submergent vegetation, hydrodynamics, climate change, observing systems and advanced technologies, socioeconomics and sustainability, as well as infrastructure/vessel support. Dialogue will also be focused on the implications of existing management programs on Muskegon Lake, such as habitat restoration and the Habitat Blueprint.

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