The Minnesota Sea Grant Approach
Lake Superior plays a pivotal role in defining solutions to the coastal problems of the 21st Century. As the cleanest, clearest, coldest, and least urbanized of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior is both unique and a reference for the Great Lakes region. Nevertheless, Lake Superior faces many of the same problems that affect other Great Lakes, inland lakes, and marine coastal areas, such as pressure from unplanned development, organic and inorganic contaminants, excess nutrients and sediments, exotic species, diminishing economic viability for small coastal communities, deteriorated water quality in estuarine areas, pressure on fishery resources, and coastal hazards. Lake Superior can play an important role as a testing ground for our scientific understanding of interdisciplinary problems and the application of science to policy and management decisions.
Minnesota Sea Grant, the only Sea Grant program focused entirely on Lake Superior, seeks to maintain and enhance its coastal environment and coastal economy through high-quality research, education, and outreach. We support research that will lead to tools and technology for responsible management and policy decisions regarding Lake Superior and inland aquatic economies and resources. Though decisions about which research topics are most critical to pursue are typically driven by Great Lakes needs and concerns, the usefulness and relevancy of Minnesota Sea Grant research, education, and outreach typically go well beyond the Great Lakes watershed. We encourage you to identify potential broader applications of your research and potential outreach that might arise from the results. We encourage research scientists from universities and colleges to partner with federal, state, and tribal agencies, the public, and industry to understand the complex nature of the multi-disciplinary problems facing us and to help in developing innovative solutions.