NOAA Funds $3.8 Million, Five-Year Project to Study, Manage Saginaw Bay Ecosystem

January 18, 2008

NOAA has awarded a regional consortium of Great Lakes area universities and research organizations $760,000 for the first year of a five-year, $3.8 million pilot project to develop a new approach to analyzing and managing the cumulative effects of climate change, land use, invasive species, and other environmental stressors on Saginaw Bay and its surrounding ecosystem.

“Human activities can cause unexpected and devastating consequences when they simultaneously affect a coastal ecosystem,” said Robert Magnien, director of NOAA's Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research. “This project will not only help us better understand the effects of multiple stressors on Saginaw Bay and the Great Lakes, but also serve as a blueprint for improving the management of other coastal systems facing similar stressors.”

The funds were awarded through NOAA’s Multiple Stressors Program to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, University of Akron, and the consulting firm Limno-Tech.

Saginaw Bay, part of Lake Huron, was selected as the focus of the project because it is a complex coastal ecosystem facing multiple environmental stressors, making it ideal for such a case study.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.