GLRI provides support to various Sea Grant-led projects that extend the impact of U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office using Sea Grant outreach capacity.
Strategy to Prevent Invasive Crayfish Impacts to the Great Lakes Basin: The Invasive Crayfish Collaborative
This project focuses on developing and and enhancing the Invasive Crayfish Collaborative through regional meetings and collective research and communication activities; increasing public awareness to prevent new crayfish introductions; and evaluating effectiveness of a community science pilot program that trains teachers and outdoor educators in working with students to catch, identify, and report crayfish catches.
Coastal Remediation and Revitalization
Years of industrial activity and development have left numerous Great Lakes tributaries, embayments and harbors contaminated with heavy metals, PCBs, PAHs, and other toxic pollutants. Many rivers and streams have also been dammed, channelized, or diverted to suit local needs. The result is stressed and degraded ecosystems—unsafe for people and unsuitable for some fish and wildlife. The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program helps EPA-GLNPO remediate, restore, and revitalize these water bodies through extension activities that help policy makers, resource managers, and local stakeholders make informed decisions that improve coastal health and ensure continued enjoyment and use of coastal resources.
Emerging Contaminants and Toxics Remediation Activities
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program will provide support to GLNPO to enable dissemination of GLRI-funded contaminant research results to stakeholders including the broader research community with the goals of creating a more-informed constituency, facilitating collaboration among researchers, and avoiding duplication of effort. IIGSCP will also continue to work closely with GLNPO to identify known and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) that may have detrimental environmental impacts and could be mitigated through modification of consumer purchasing and disposal behaviors. Through research, education, outreach, and partnerships, IISGCP will provide communities and individuals with information that can help them make knowledgeable decisions about purchasing, using, recycling, or disposing of consumer products such as PPCPs, plastics, pesticides, and other chemicals used in and around businesses and homes that can have unintended environmental consequences.
Great Lakes Literacy
Environmental literacy is essential if a society is to make well-informed decisions about the environment. CGLL is a collaborative effort among the Sea Grant educators throughout the Great Lakes watershed to specifically promote Great Lakes literacy. Through CGLL, educators are provided hands-on experiences, educational resources and networking opportunities for an engaged community of educators, scientists and citizens. CGLL also creates dynamic linkages between the education and research communities, and uses exemplary curricula and educator professional development to improve Great Leaks science education and outreach throughout the region.
Science and Monitoring
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is engaged in initiatives that improve quantitative analysis for agencies and experiences for educators to increase effectiveness of monitoring and education programs. For example, Sea Grant works closely with GLNPO to develop products, tools, and strategies to communicate the results from their offshore water quality sampling conducted aboard the research vessel R/V Lake Guardian. IISGCP is active in organizing research efforts between university and agency scientists in the Great Lakes as part of CSMI. Working with the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IISGCP led development of algorithms to objectively identify landmarks (e.g., thermocline, deep chlorophyll maximum), anomalies in limnological data collected by sensor arrays, and the cyber infrastructure necessary to display, analyze and share GLNPO monitoring data with other agencies and scientists. IISGCP will continue similar work to help make all comparable CSMI data easily accessible. IISGCP also leads CGLL activities conducted by the Sea Grant Great Lakes Educators Network in partnership with GLNPO. In these and other efforts, IISGCP works with community leaders, natural resource professionals, educators, and Great Lakes scientists to monitor, improve, and protect the quality of the Great Lakes overall and in critical locations.
Tomas Hook, IL-IN Sea Grant, firstname.lastname@example.org