News from the Great Lakes Commission  |  September 2016  |  View this email online 

GLC awarded $7.9 million to restore Muskegon Lake as part of $40 million regional partnership

Restoring “toxic hotspots” around the Great Lakes helps protect key ecosystems, revitalize local economies and enhance quality of life across the region and in local communities. For more than two decades, we've worked with federal and state agencies and local groups to advance restoration of these Great Lakes “Areas of Concern” (AOCs).

In recognition of this leadership, the GLC was recently awarded $7.9 million by NOAA to restore the Muskegon Lake AOC as part of $40 million regional partnership. The work funded will likely be the final habitat restoration project necessary for formal removal of Muskegon Lake from the list of AOCs. 

Congratulations to all of our local, state and national partners! 

AOC Habitat Restoration Partnership

GLC to continue leading fight against web trafficking of aquatic invasive species

E-commerce is recognized as a growing way that species can be transferred into areas where they might be invasive. To address this threat, the GLC has developed innovative software that uses advanced technologies to search the web for sites where aquatic invasive species can be purchased and shipped to the Great Lakes region. We recently learned that the GLC will receive an additional $340,000 in funding to continue deploying this software, the Great Lakes Detector of Invasive Aquatics in Trade – or GLDIATR.

Our program manager Erika Jensen recently appeared on WKAR's Current State program for a great in-depth interview on GLDIATR. Click here to listen


Urging Congress to take action on key legislative priorities for the Great Lakes 

We recently wrote members of the Great Lakes congressional delegation to urge them to take action on key priorities for the Great Lakes before the 114th Congress is adjourned. With 90% of our nation’s supply of fresh surface water, the Great Lakes are a natural treasure and vital economic asset. The priorities described in the letter are vital to restoring the Great Lakes, protecting drinking water, creating jobs, stimulating economic development and strengthening our waterfront communities. Click here for more info and to read the letter.

We're happy to report that last week the Senate took action on one of our priorities: passing the Water Resources Development Act. This comprehensive bill includes several provisions of importance to Great Lakes interests, including reauthorization of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, dedicated funding for the Great Lakes Navigation System, measures to support revitalization in waterfront communities, and actions to address water infrastructure needs and safeguard drinking water. We will be urging the House to pass similar Great Lakes provisions in its version of the legislation swiftly, so that the House and Senate versions can be reconciled and signed into law.

Moving forward with multi-jurisdictional water quality trading in the Western Lake Erie Basin 

Earlier this month, the GLC convened our Trading Advisory Group in Toledo to continue productive conversations toward further development of our Erie P Market project, a multi-jurisdictional approach for water quality trading of total phosphorus credits within the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). The meeting focused on gathering input on a “Framework” that will set the stage for pilot trades between WLEB point sources (e.g. traditional wastewater treatment plants operating under state-issued permits) and nonpoint source agricultural operations (farms) during 2017. In addition to representatives of environmental and agriculture agencies from the WLEB jurisdictions of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, the Advisory Group also includes a diverse group of stakeholders representing agriculture and conservation communities in the Great Lakes basin and advisors from other successful water quality trading projects.

Learn more about the project on our website.

Meet our new staff! 

The GLC is growing and we are thrilled to have recently welcomed three new staffers!

Dan Gold comes to us after six years of experience in environmental consulting where he focused on subsurface investigation and remediation, stormwater compliance, and a myriad of other environmental due diligence activities. He has also worked as a Conservation Crew Leader in several National Parks. Dan has a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree with a concentration in water resources management from the University of California Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Geology from the University of Michigan.

Ken Gibbons is the 2016 Great Lakes Commission Fellow. Ken will assist the GLC with a range of water quality projects, including the HABs Collaboratory and ErieStat. Prior to joining the GLC, Ken attended the University of Toledo where he received a Master of Science Degree in biology. While at Toledo, Ken studied under Dr. Thomas Bridgeman and focused on Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie, specifically investigating internal loading of phosphorus. Ken received a bachelor’s in biology and minor in environmental geology from Albion College.

Kimmy Parker joins us as a GIS Technician. In her current role she supports the GLC GIS team in data collection, organization and tracking for hazard and inland sensitivity analyses. Additionally, Kimmy develops “Story Maps” to display GIS data and other important information to the public. Previously, Kimmy worked for the City of Ann Arbor as an Urban Forestry and Systems Planning intern. She has a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management and a GIS certificate from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Upcoming events

September 20-22: Great Lakes Restoration Conference
We'll see you at the 12th annual Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition conference in Sandusky, Ohio.

October 4-6: Great Lakes Public Forum 2016
The Great Lakes Public Forum 2016 will provide an opportunity for the governments of Canada and the United States to discuss and receive public comments on the state of the lakes and binational priorities for science and action, as well as an opportunity for the International Joint Commission to discuss and receive public input on the Progress Report of the Parties. The Forum takes place once every three years, and allows for significant public input into the implementation of the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

October 5: IJC Public Meetings
The International Joint Commission will contribute to the Great Lakes Public Forum by holding two public meetings on Wednesday, October 5.

October 6-7: Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting
Register now for the 2016 Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting at the Fairmont Royal York in beautiful Toronto.

October 12: Great Lakes Observing System Annual Meeting
Mark your calendars for the GLOS annual meeting at Maumee Bay State Park just east of Toledo, Ohio.

November 2-3: Great Lakes ANS Panel Meeting
The fall meeting of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A meeting agenda and materials are available on the Great Lakes Panel website.

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