The University of Michigan has launched a new research initiative to guide efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. The new University of Michigan Water Center will be jointly funded by the university and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

The center will receive $9 million during its first three years to identify and fill science gaps in the federally supported Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Research will be prioritized around the federal initiative’s foci: removing toxic contaminations and environmental restoration, combating invasive species, protecting and restoring wildlife and their habitats, and addressing stormwater runoff. The federal effort is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, and received $1 billion in its first three years.

According to the University of Michigan: “While the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been widely praised, there is great interest in integrating a stronger science base into the projects and helping to assess their cumulative environmental and economic impacts. That is the primary near-term focus of [University of Michigan’s] new Water Center.”


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