CMU takes lead in $10 million research grant; project part of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
CMU biology researchers are at the forefront of a $10 million grant project designed to research and protect costal wetlands in the Great Lakes.
The grant money, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, is part of President Barack Obama’s $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. CMU will take the lead in the project, along with several other universities and agencies.
The goal of the project is to study how the basins have been affected over time and their sustainability, biology and chemistry, said Peg Bostwick, wetland specialist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
“The group wanted to find a way to protocol affordable ways to describe costal wetlands over time,” she said. “The main focus was to implement this water project across the basin.”
The EPA and assistant biology professor Donald Uzarski put together a team of researchers to determine how they could best research Great Lakes wetland sustainability eight years ago, Bostwick said.
The project will include the study of birds, plants and other water life. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will focus on the biological and chemical effects across the basin over time.
The areas surveyed will consist of at least 10 acres for sampling wetland health, said Emily Finnell, environmental quality analyst for the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
“This whole project includes a lot of partnerships with different groups all working together,” said Finnell.
The groups of researchers working on the project are surveying wetlands across different regions of Michigan. The project will be spread its $10 million budget over a five-year period providing $2 million per year, Finnell said.
Participating groups include CMU, Grand Valley State University, the University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame, Environment Cananda and the DNRE.
“Central Michigan students and graduate students will have their own individual focus group along with a few DNR(E) fisheries who want to be involved,” Bostwick said. “This project includes such a huge spectrum of people who care about the long-term biology and sustainability of our lakes, basins and wetlands.”
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