In a letter dated October 14, 2016, five U.S. senators (Gary Peters and Debbie Stenow – Michigan,Tammy Baldwin – Wisconsin, Amy Klobuhar – Minnesota and also Sharrod Brown –Ohio) have written to the National Science Foundation (NSF) requesting to know how the organization will incorporate Great Lakes research and education in current initiatives and support such work in future.
The senators’ letter makes the following points:
- the $5.8trillion economy of the Great Lakes region is a strong driver for the North American economy
- the Great Lakes fishery alone is worth an annual $7 billion
- research to better understand the Great Lakes ecosystem is already being carried out in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and geology
- NSF already supports Great Lakes initiatives such as the Coastal Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program.
The senators’ assert that the “overlap in research questions” between the oceans and Great Lakes mean that the lessons of the recent “Sea Change” report may apply equally to the Great Lakes. The senators conclude by asking for, “information on the investment the NSF has provided in recent years to support basic research and education activities related to the Great Lakes and information on futureo pportunities available to support Great Lakes related research and education activities.”
A response to the senators’ letter had not yet been received at time of posting.