Contact: John Hummer, Great Lakes Commission, 734-971-9135, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Michigan chosen for national monitoring study
Lake Michigan has been chosen as one of three pilot study sites for use in the development of the National Water Quality Monitoring Network for U.S. Coastal Waters and their Tributaries, commonly known as the National Monitoring Network (NMN).
The NMN is a response to a recommendation by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy for a national monitoring network that can provide the information necessary for effective stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. The pilot study will test and refine the NMN design across a broad range of Lake Michigan resource components, from upland watersheds to offshore waters.
The project will be coordinated by the Great Lakes Commission, through the Lake Michigan Monitoring Coordination Council. Other partners include the four Lake Michigan states, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Great Lakes Observing System, among others.
“We’re pleased that the Great Lakes have been included in this important pilot program,” said Judy Beck, Lake Michigan Manager for the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office. “Not only does this acknowledge the Great Lakes’ status as the nation’s “Fresh Coast” and a valuable and distinctive element of our coastal resources, it also recognizes the effectiveness of the Lake Michigan Monitoring Coordination Council as a collaborative venture and should leverage additional opportunities in the future.”
The pilot study will examine current Lake Michigan monitoring and gaps in relation to the proposed NMN design specifications. During the project, Lake Michigan monitoring stakeholders will test and refine the NMN design for nine resource components: 1) Estuaries; 2) Near Shore; 3) Off Shore; 4) Great Lakes; 5) Rivers; 6) Ground water; 7) Atmospheric deposition; 8) Beaches; and 9) Wetlands.
“Government and private sector reports in the past few years have indicated that both national and regional monitoring efforts are underfunded, insufficient, and lack the data comparability needed to provide comprehensive information on U.S. water resources,” said Art Garceau, of the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management, who helped develop the NMN design. “This is a unique opportunity for us to not only improve our monitoring capabilities around Lake Michigan, but will also serve as a catalyst for enhanced monitoring coordination throughout the Great Lakes basin as part of the Great Lakes Observing System.”
The other two pilot sites selected were the Delaware River Basin and San Francisco Bay.
Work on the pilot study is scheduled to be completed by January 2008. The next demonstration phase is anticipated to begin shortly thereafter, and most likely will involve improvements to existing monitoring sites, and installation of new sites, sensors and data systems needed to fill critical data gaps in selected regions.
Numerous reports in recent years indicate that monitoring has been insufficient and lacks coordination to provide comprehensive information about U.S. water resources. In 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy’s “Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century” recommended a national monitoring network to improve management of ocean resources and provide the nation with a coordinated, comprehensive monitoring network that can provide the information necessary for managers to make informed decisions, adapt their actions as needed, and assure effective stewardship of ocean and coastal resources.
As a result of the Ocean Blueprint, the USGS National Water Quality Monitoring Council was given the task of designing the National Monitoring Network. It was developed by an 80-member team, including representatives of federal, state and local government entities, universities, water associations and the private sector. The design is unique because it uses an integrated, multidisciplinary approach and addresses a broad range of water resources.
For more information, see http://acwi.gov/monitoring/network or http://wi.water.usgs.gov/lmmcc. Contact: John Hummer, email@example.com.
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry Jr., is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great LakesSt. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Great Lakes Commission
Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry, Chair; Tim A. Eder, Executive Director
Eisenhower Corporate Park • 2805 S. Industrial Hwy. Suite 100 • Ann Arbor, Michigan • 48104-6791
734-971-9135 • Fax: 734-971-9150 • Web: www.glc.org
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