Gerald Niemi, scientist at the Natural Resources Research Institute, was invited to attend a White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region Wednesday.
The Obama Administration’s FY 2013 budget includes $300 million to continue critical interagency collaboration on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Initiative’s base funds have allowed NRRI, partnering with local agencies, to develop indicators of environmental condition and standardized coastal monitoring as well as to restore moose habitat and Duluth’s impaired Amity Creek.
"This funding is the biggest thing to hit the Great Lakes in a long time," said Niemi. "The nation is finally recognizing the value of the lakes and the need for restoration, monitoring and research."
The briefing was an opportunity for dialogue between Great Lakes leaders and senior Administration officials like Counselor to the President Pete Rouse, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes and USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills about community leadership in Great Lakes restoration efforts.
The Great Lakes are home to some of America’s finest beaches, world-class fisheries, and some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. They are also one of the planet’s greatest natural resources, providing drinking water for more than 30 million people and supporting one of the world’s largest regional economies.
The mission of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth is to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.