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GLIN==> Governor Engler Announces Over $2 million in Grants for GreatLakes Research and Protection

Governor Engler Announces Over $2 million in Grants for Great Lakes Research and Protection

New Atmospheric Mercury Monitoring Network Funded

Governor John Engler has announced  the award of 19 grants totaling over $2 million from the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund (Fund). The recipient projects address a wide array of environmental concerns, ranging from research on atmospheric mercury to the study of pathogenic bacteria in the Great Lakes. In addition, one study will conduct an analysis of "green" electricity programs in Michigan.

"The funding of these 19 projects highlights the diversity of research needed for the protection and enhancement of the Great Lakes," Governor Engler said. "The vitality of the Great Lakes, the world's largest source of freshwater, depends on a commitment to cutting-edge research and protection efforts."

The Technical Advisory Board, an independent panel of experts, recommends grant applications to the Fund after submitting them to extensive peer review.

This year's awards provide over $750,000 for research on persistent, bioaccumulative toxics, including an atmospheric mercury monitoring network. Grants for projects and research in the areas of pathogens and bacteria in Michigan's surface waters total over $150,000.
In addition, one study will conduct an analysis of green electricity programs in Michigan and their potential scale in a deregulated utility market.

"Michigan has made tremendous progress in reducing toxic pollution coming from water discharges. However, most of the continuing pollution for toxics such as mercury and dioxin comes from the air," said G. Tracy Mehan, III, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. "The establishment of a atmospheric mercury monitoring network is a milestone for Michigan, allowing us to evaluate air levels and impacts on the water, sedimen t and fish."

The Fund is managed by the Office of the Great Lakes in the Department of Environmental Quality.

Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund Grant Awards
Air Quality Division MDEQ - $400,000 * Development of a Michigan Atmospheric Mercury Monitoring Network. The study will evaluate levels of ambient mercury and mercury deposition in urban areas in Michigan and in the water, sediments, and biota at an impacted urban lake in southeast Michigan. This study will also continue a long-term evaluation of mercury deposition in two rural sites that will allow for trend analysis.

University of Michigan - $110,069 * The Dry Deposition of Speciated Mercury to a Forest Ecosystem. The project will apply combined measured mercury levels with micrometeorological measurements over a forest in Northern Lower Michigan to deposition models. This study will be applicable to modeling studies investigating impacts of persistent bioaccumulative toxics (PBT) potential emission reduction scenarios on forested and other ecosystems.

Michigan Technological University * $148,096 * Micrometeorological Measurements of Air-Water Exchange Rates of PBT's in Lake Superior. The study will develop and optimize micrometeorological methods to measure air-water exchange rates of PBT's in Lake Superior, which can be applied throughout the Great Lakes Basin.

USGS * Great Lakes Science Center * $142,823 * Utilization of Great Lakes Forage Fish (Smelt) as an Indicator of the Reduction of Contaminants in the Great Lakes Ecosystem. The project will conduct a trend analysis of contaminant concentrations in rainbow smelt collected from 1984 to 1999 in the Great Lakes bordering Michigan in order to show the progress that has been made in elimination of persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances within the Great Lakes Basin.

US Fish and Wildlife Service * $111,701 * Contaminant Body Burdens in Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens from the St. Clair River-Detroit River Waterway. This study will develop a non-lethal sampling technique to provide data based on egg masses and fish tissue analysis for the 2000-2001 collection seasons. Collected data will be used to determine concentrations and trends of toxic contaminants in lake sturgeon. Basic data collected will aid in the rehabilitation efforts of lake sturgeon populations throughout the Great Lakes.

Clemson University * $108,697 * Determination of Health Effects of Environmental Pollutants Using Avian Models: A Holistic Approach. The project will develop health status biomarkers to compare birds' susceptibility to disease in varying levels of polluted environments.

University of Michigan * $95,905 * Mechanisms of Action of PCBs on Neurological Development of Great Lakes Amphibians. The project will investigate the effects of PCBs on endocrine and neurological development of the northern leopard frogs. This research will contribute to efforts currently underway by state and regional amphibian monitoring programs.

Michigan State University * $60,020 * TCDD and PCB 126-Induced Proliferation of Maxillary and Mandibular Squamous Epithelia. The study will investigate lesions that are induced specifically by PCB and PCDD congeners, which could impact both humans and wildlife species residing in the Great Lakes basin. Mink offspring exposed to these chemicals, which are present in their natural habitats, will be evaluated for lesions at varying levels of exposure.

Western Michigan University * $88,672 * Development of Innovative Remedial Methods for PBT- Contaminated Sediments in the Great Lakes Drainage Basin. The research will develop containment and treatment methods for sediments in tributaries and inland lakes contaminated by persistent bioaccumulative toxins, which are contributors to the contamination in the Great Lakes Basin.

University of Michigan * $29,453 - Information-Based Approach to Environmental Policy: An Analysis of Green Electricity Programs in Michigan. The study will analyze green electricity consumption as a mechanism for the private provision of a public good. This study will also compare the effectiveness of this behavior as an information-based source approach to environmental policy to nation and regional policy within the Great Lakes Basin.

University of Michigan * $94,458 * Rapid Determination of Pathogenic Bacteria in Surface Waters. The study will develop a fast and reliable method to determine pathogenic bacteria in river and lake water in minutes, on site, and will not require sending the samples to a laboratory.

University of Michigan * $80,611 * Laboratory Simulation of Transport and Dilution of Harmful Microbial Organisms in the Great Lakes. The project will use a laboratory model to simulate typical sewage discharges and how mixing affects the dilution and viability of coliforms to determine the relative risk of pathogens on human health.

Michigan State University * $65,395 * Development of an Index of Biotic Integrity for Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands. The study will modify and expand the macroinvertebrate-based wetland Index of Biotic Integrity for use in all five Great Lakes. This data will be used to evaluate the "ecosystem health."

Michigan Natural Features Inventory * $109,771 - Biodiversity Analysis of Selected Riverine Ecosystems within a Fragmented Landscape. The study is the second phase, which will continue the evaluation of the roles of riparian ecosystems as refuge areas for plants and animals in a highly fragmented landscape in additional watershed areas. The data will be used to develop predictive models of riparian biodiversity potential.

Michigan State University * $99,970 * Optimal Water Quality Sampling Design to Assess Environmental Impacts in the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed. The project is a continuation of a two-year project to continue to develop an optimal water quality sampling design for the rapidly developing Grand Traverse Bay Watershed and also to assess the environmental impacts of land-use intensity and change in water quality. This study can be applied throughout the Great Lakes Basin.

Oakland University * $47,671 * Changes in the Distribution and Abundance of Zooplankton in Lake St. Clair. The research will be a continuation of work involving an intense examination of data collected on zooplankton species composition, diversity, biomass, and distribution samples in Lake St. Clair. The effects of zebra mussels alone on zooplankton community structure will also be evaluated.

University of Michigan * $79,980 * Documentation and Characterization of Tumor-like Growths in Great Lakes Zooplankton. The study will provide documentation of the occurrence of the zooplankton with tumor-like growths found in Lake Michigan and Lake Erie and intense analysis and possible causes of the tumor-like growths. The data will be used to evaluate the impacts on the zooplankton populations and the species dependent on their populations.

Michigan State University * $50,340 * Molecular Genetic Characterization of Spatial, Temporal, and Phylogenetic Structure of Populations of Lake Trout in Great Lakes. This final research phase will assess genetic diversity that has been altered as a result of impacts to the Lakes. This study will evaluate the extent of loss of genetic variation within the populations since they have declined due to over-exploitation and sea lamprey predation.

Waste Management Division MDEQ * $88,775 * Baseline Chemical Characterization of Saginaw Bay Watershed Sediments. The study will provide an analysis of sediment quality in the Saginaw River within the Lake Huron watershed to supplement existing data, to determine if contaminants are present at levels of environmental concern and if they are potential source of ongoing releases to Lake Huron.

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