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GLIN==> Muskegon Lake Research Endowment established



Posted on behalf of Brian J. Bowe <boweb@gvsu.edu>

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Community Foundation Announces Establishment of Muskegon Lake Research
Endowment Fund

A new fund to support important and ongoing scientific research on Muskegon
Lake's environmental health has been established with significant gifts from
two longtime lake advocates. Generous leadership contributions of $100,000
from Dr. William G. Jackson of Muskegon and $25,000 from the Muskegon
Sportsfishing Association have launched a fund raising campaign to establish
a $250,000 endowment at the Community Foundation to support permanent lake
study efforts that will be conducted by Grand Valley State University's
Annis Water Resources Institute.

Jackson, a chemist and successful local entrepreneur, is a longtime
supporter of Grand Valley's presence on Muskegon Lake and the Lake Michigan
shoreline. An avid sailor and environmental champion, Jackson led the effort
to bring the GVSU Research vessel W.G. Jackson < which carries his name < to
the Muskegon lakeshore. He again provided financial leadership in the
construction of Grand Valley's Lake Michigan Center on Muskegon's
waterfront. Jackson's latest gift is yet another indication of his
commitment to Muskegon Lake's environmental health.

The Muskegon Sportfishing Association, formed in 1969 with over 400 members,
promotes the protection, preservation, and development of sport fishing in
the Muskegon region. Association members actively work to develop fish
habitat and protect the natural resources of Muskegon Lake and the Lake
Michigan shoreline. Tom Kampinga, Treasurer, and long-time member said: "
The Sportfishing Association for some time has been looking for a project
consistent with its goals and values. To assist in the formation of a fund
that will support research to improve and preserve the quality of Muskegon
Lake is a perfect match with our interests."

Chris McGuigan, president of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County,
said: "These lead gifts get this campaign off to a tremendous start and
we're confident that others will follow the example that Bill Jackson and
the Muskegon Sportfishing Association have set."

Decades of industrial use along the Muskegon Lake shoreline, years before
state and federal clean water laws went on the books, have left a legacy of
environmental damage. Some of this degradation is well documented and has
led to the lake being listed as an Area Of Concern by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency. Muskegon Lake is one of 42 such areas within the Great
Lakes Basin.

In an effort to remove (de-list) Muskegon Lake from this dubious status,
sound scientific data are needed to document the lake's improved health,
both today and in the future. Grand Valley, through its Annis Water
Resources Institute is already conducting limited research in the lake.
However, the institute's existing financial resources are limited and there
is no guarantee of continued, long-term funding, said Director Alan
Steinmann.

By creating the Muskegon Lake Research Endowment Fund in cooperation with
the Community Foundation, funds will be available each year to assure
ongoing research designed to accomplish the following:

* Record short and long-term changes in Muskegon Lake by accumulating a
continuous record of plankton, nutrients, fish population, temperature
fluctuations and other indicators;

* Better understand what happens within Muskegon Lake and what outside
forces affect and drive this ecosystem;

* Develop a "report card" for Muskegon Lake health and use it to inform the
public and government agencies about the lake's status through various
means, including placement of monitoring information on the AWRI web site.

"We are delighted to be able to partner with interested citizens,
businesses, and interest groups with a commitment to assuring an
environmentally healthy Muskegon Lake. This fund-raising effort will allow
the Foundation to build this new Fund that will contribute important
scientific work needed to help de-list the lake as an Area of Concern," said
Dr. Alan Steinman, AWRI's Director.

For more information, call:

-- Arnold (Arn) Boezaart, Vice-President, Grant Programs
Community Foundation for Muskegon County, (231) 722-4538
-- Brian J. Bowe, News and Information Services, GVSU, 616-331-2221 or
boweb@gvsu.edu




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