University of Michigan Water Center awards $570K in grants focusing on Great Lakes
A new University of Michigan initiative has doled out its first round of funding.
The creation of a $9 million Water Center was announced at U-M President Mary Sue Coleman's leadership breakfast in 2012.
The Water Center grants, which are awarded in chunks as high as $50,000 over the course of two years, will go toward projects tracking the remediation of harmful algae blooms, assessing techniques to control non-native weedy plant invasions and monitoring fish responses to restoration activities.
Fifty-four proposals were submitted for the first round of Water Center research grants, but just 12 were chosen. Recipients aren't just from Michigan, they hail from other schools and Canada.
"These initial grants are to an exceptional few projects that really addressed our goals and clearly identified outcomes that matter to the region's resource management community. They are going to fill key gaps in our restoration knowledge," Water Center Director Allen Burton said in a release.
When Coleman announced the formation of the Water Center, she said the university wants to provide a framework for more efficient restoration of the Great Lakes, which hold 20 percent of the world's surface freshwater and include 10,000 miles of coastline.
"As a university, we need to take on ownership and responsibility of regional sustainability challenges that affect us - close to home and where our expertise can have enormous impact," Coleman said in October 2012. "The water center will do that."
The fledgling Water Center has a growing staff —it's in the process of bringing on eight post-doctorate fellows— and is expecting to award a second round of larger grants, of up to $500,000 each, later this year.