AWRI, GVSU ready for conferences on water issues
Two conferences coming to West Michigan over the next two weeks will offer opportunities for researchers and students from Grand Valley and the Annis Water Resources Institute to connect with peers on environmental issues facing the world’s oceans and lakes.
The Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting (JASM) will bring 5,000 attendees and nine scientific societies to Grand Rapids from May 14-20.
“Most people haven’t gotten together in three years, so it’s important to be making personal connections,” said Al Steinman, director of the AWRI.
Steinman said he and biology professor Mark Luttenton will be leading an excursion for conference attendees aboard the AWRI’s research vessel, the W.G. Jackson, and will showcase Muskegon Lake’s environmental remediation efforts.
Steinman will also be part of a panel during the JASM conference, speaking on ecosystems in the Great Lakes.
A few days later, the Areas of Concern (AOC) Conference organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy runs May 24-26 in Muskegon.
“We’ll be very represented at both conferences,” said Steinman. “We’ll have a lot of students at both too. I’ll be talking on restoration projects at the AOC Conference, and it will be a great opportunity to show off Muskegon and Muskegon Lake.”
Since 1987, Muskegon Lake has been designated an Area of Concern because decades of commercial development resulted in contaminated sediment, degradation of water quality and critical impacts to natural wetlands, but restoration efforts have been steady, said Steinman.
“We’re getting closer to delisting Muskegon Lake from the AOC list,” he said.