An observation system that provides real-time data on the health of the coastal ecosystem of the Great Lakes will receive a federal grant of $252,681, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve its online presence, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin announced today. The Synthesis, Observations and Response (SOAR) system integrates various activities in support of restoration of the Great Lakes. Today’s award will be administered by the University of Michigan.
‘The Great Lakes are critical to Michigan’s economy and our way of life,’ said Stabenow. ‘This support will help University of Michigan researchers better understand how we can restore and protect our Lakes for future generations.’
‘In cleaning up the Great Lakes, we need to ensure that scientists and decision makers have the best tools available to manage restoration projects in a targeted and cost-effective manner,’ Levin said. ‘This grant will help improve access to information to researchers working on restoration of the Great Lakes we all love dearly.’
SOAR combines observations of water conditions and models of the coastal ecosystem to develop tools that support Great Lakes restoration such as on-water and remote sensing platforms and databases created from these observations. The real-time data provides valuable information for researchers and decision makers.
SOAR is a collaboration of federal agencies including NOAA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and non-federal partners including the Great Lakes Observing System Regional Association and the International Joint Commission.
Levin is co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force and Stabenow is one of the vice-chairs of the task force.
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