The University Record, November 5, 1996

U-M, GVSU, Grand Haven join to make
aquatic research facility a reality

By Kim Clarke
University Relations

The University is one step closer to establishing a Great Lakes aquatic research facility on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Iterim President Homer A. Neal recently signed an agreement to work in concert with Grand Vally State University (GVSU) and the city of Grand Haven to develop a 7,000-square-foot facility to be used for teaching and research.

The facility will be known as the Grand Haven Aquatic Research and Education Center. It will be housed in an abandoned water treatment plant once operated by the city of Grand Haven. The three-story brick building is structurally sound and overlooks a channel that feeds into Lake Michigan.

The facility also sits near the docking site of the University's research ship, the Laurentian.

The research center will have three core finctions:

Û To house research projects that use aquariums to simulate or alter the lake environment.

Û To be a teaching facility for students at all levels---graduate, undergraduate and K-12.

Û To be a site for public education programs about Great Lakes aquatic life and environmental issues.

Grand Haven Mayor Gail M. Ringelberg says she expects the facility will become "the premiere freshwater research center in the country."

"Grand Haven stands behind and ready to make this freshwater aquatic center a reality," Ringelberg said at an Oct. 3 ceremony marking the signing of the consortium agreement.

The signing ceremony included representatives from the U-M, GVSU, Grand Haven and the Loutit Foundation. The Grand Haven-based Loutit Foundation has donated $25,000 toward the project.