April 5, 2019

Lake Superior Research Institute Director Advocates in Washington D.C. for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding

Matt TenEyck, Director of the Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) at the University of Wisconsin-Superior recently travelled to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators regarding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). At the time of his trip, GLRI funding was slated for substantial cuts in President Trump’s proposed budget, as has been the case in the last two budget cycles. However, at a recent rally in Grand Rapids, MI, President Trump declared his intention to fully fund the $300 million initiative.

GLRI funding supports the Great Waters Research Collaborative (GWRC), a partnership between LSRI and the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD). The collaborative carries out research, development, testing and evaluation of technologies and methods to control the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species via commercial vessel ballast water within the Laurentian Great Lakes.

“In particular, GWRC benefits the private sector by providing testing services to developers of ballast water management systems and compliance monitoring tools. To date, we have tested over 50 different treatment systems,” said TenEyck.

GLRI funding has supported 31 staff, 90 undergraduate student employees, and provided a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities for students. The work of these students and employees through the collaborative has resulted in 50 ballast water management technologies being tested, five non-native species detected through monitoring efforts, and significant influence for policies that protect the Great Lakes.

TenEyck met with staffers from the offices of Pete Stauber, Sean Duffey, Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar, Tammy Baldwin, and Ron Johnson on his two-day trip.

“They all were very positive visits,” said TenEyck. “Most of them were unaware of LSRI before my visit and were both surprised and pleased to learn that this type of research is being done at UWS. They recognized the collaborative nature of our work with other local universities, agencies and firms, and were very impressed.”

TenEyck feels the visits were beneficial in shining a light on the important work happening at UWS and its benefits for one of our greatest natural resources – the Great Lakes. He left behind the book, Addressing Environmental Risks: 50 Years of Applied Research, Student Experience and Community Outreach, which outlines the history of the Lake Superior Research Institute, and hopes that legislators will make take time to read it.

 “This book speaks to 50 years of high quality research and education of undergraduate students at UWS and demonstrates that we are poised to continue research, student education, and public service in the next half-century,” said TenEyck 

The Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) is one of four research institutes at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, conducting environmental research, education and outreach for the Great Lakes region and beyond. LSRI provides non-traditional learning and applied research opportunities for undergraduate students, and fosters environmental education and outreach in the Twin Ports and surrounding communities.

UW-Superior Faculty/Staff

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