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CMU’s Institute for Great Lakes Research to host Debbie Stabenow for Great Lakes symposium

U.S. senator and co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force to deliver keynote address April 2

Contact: Curt Smith

​​​​​​Central Michigan University's Institute for Great Lakes Research will bring the nation's leading Great Lakes advocate in Congress to campus Thursday, April 2, as part of a symposium titled "Great Lakes Science in Action: An Interdisciplinary and Multi-Institutional Approach."

The symposium will feature special guest Debbie Stabenow, U.S. senator and co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, who will deliver a keynote address shortly after 1 p.m.

Stabenow made history in 2000 as the first woman from Michigan to be elected to the U.S. Senate, where in 2012, her bipartisan Stop Invasive Species Act was signed into law. She recently authored the bipartisan Defending Our Great Lakes Act that instructs the Army Corps of Engineers to work closely with state, business and environmental groups to address how to stop invasive species while protecting shipping and local commerce, preventing flooding and improving water quality. 

The voice of the Great Lakes, she has submitted legislation to Congress to lock in $475 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. She also has been advocating on behalf of Michiganders to ensure that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used for its intended purpose of maintaining and improving Michigan ports, harbors and waterways.

Senator Stabenow​ will be available to meet with press at approximately 1:45 p.m., or immediately following her keynote address, in the Education and Human Services Building. If you are with the media and will be attending, please RSVP to Steve Smith, CMU director of public relations, 989-774-7328.​

A policy panel — including Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Norm Grannemann, coordinator of the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes; and state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine from the Michigan House of Representatives — will discuss Great Lakes restoration and conservation efforts and their impact on the regional economy following the keynote address.

In addition, CMU scientists — including Donald Uzarski, director of the CMU Biological Station and IGLR; Tracy Galarowicz, biology department chairperson and professor; and assistant professors of biology Andrew Mahon and Kevin Pangle — will host a panel discussion and provide updates on collaborative Great Lakes research, including invasive species affecting the annual $7.5 billion fishery, along with current threats, statuses and trends affecting Great Lakes fisheries.

The symposium will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. in French Auditorium in the Education and Human Services Building, 195 Ojibway Court. Parking will be available in Lot 22.

 Those interested in attending should notify Jessica Lapp, coordinator of CMU's Institute for Great Lakes Research, at 989-774-4401 or, to receive a parking pass for the day.

Central Michigan University is a recognized leader in studying the Great Lakes, with more than 20 faculty in the Institute for Great Lakes Research supported by state-of-the-art facilities in Mount Pleasant and at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island. The university oversees a $10 million EPA grant to conduct Great Lakes wetlands restoration and preservation research, and allocates funds through this grant to nine other universities and three governmental agencies. A $95 million Biosciences Building, currently under construction and due to be completed in 2016, will provide enhanced infrastructure to support faculty and student research and classes.

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