The University Record, April 8, 2002

Sea Grant celebrates 25th anniversary

By Elizabeth LaPorte
Michigan Sea Grant, and

Judy Steeh
News and Information Services

At a Michigan Sea Grant summer camp, students K–12 get a chance to learn about the wildlife of the Great Lakes. (Photos courtesy of David Brenner, Michigan Sea Grant Program)
For 25 years, U-M and Michigan State University have been partners in a unique enterprise that does ground-breaking research on the Great Lakes and disseminates the practical results of that research to stakeholder groups throughout the state.

The state Legislature has recognized that partnership and its contributions to Michigan by naming April 15–20 Michigan Sea Grant Week. A seminar, “Science Based Decisions for the Great Lakes,” will be held to celebrate Sea Grant Week 1–4:45 p.m. April 18 at the Michigan Historical Museum, 717 West Allegan Street, Lansing. It will be followed by a 5–7 p.m. reception.

The resolutions marking the quarter-century anniversary were introduced by Sen. Ken Sikkema (R-Grandville) and Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor).

“With its long history of Great Lakes research and outreach, Michigan Sea Grant is a true champion of the Great Lakes and a valuable asset to the State of Michigan,” Kolb said.

The mission of Michigan Sea Grant is to develop knowledge through research and to apply that knowledge to communities throughout the state, using a network of advisory agents who can help their constituents recognize problems, identify solutions, and acquire the resources to implement them. For example, the sustainable coastal development initiative works with coastal communities to make sound land-use decisions that balance the pressures of urban development with the need to protect valuable coastal habitat, prevent soil erosion and maintain excellent water quality for future generations.

“The strength of Michigan Sea Grant lies in its ability to apply university-based research to current Great Lakes challenges,” said Interim Director George Carignan. “The combined talents of people at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University have made Michigan Sea Grant a particularly effective partnership.”

“The partnership allows university-based research to be developed in concert with the needs of diverse Great Lakes stakeholders and industries,” added Associate Director William Taylor.

Michigan Sea Grant was established in 1969 and became a cooperative program between U-M and MSU in 1977. It is one of 31 Sea Grant programs nationwide supported through the National Sea Grant College Program by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The seminar and reception are being co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education, Michigan Fish Producers’ Association, Michigan Boating Industries Association, Michigan Charter Boat Association, Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association, and Michigan Aquaculture Association.