I am pleased to announce a 3-year, $4.5 million lead gift from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation to the newly created University of Michigan Water Center to help develop a stronger science framework for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Erb funds will enable the Center to support leading research and engage critical stakeholders to better understand the cumulative environmental and economic impacts of restoration work funded through the GLRI in order to inform future management and policy decisions.

The GLRI was launched by the U.S. government in 2005 to undertake an ambitious $20 billion multi-year effort to restore the Great Lakes. Planned in phases, the GLRI is in the third year of its first five-year phase. A 2012 report by the U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board affirmed that the first phase has included important remedial actions and identified ways to help improve that work going forward. Specifically, the SAB noted the need to better understand cumulative impacts and develop a scientific framework for future actions.

The Erb grant will be matched 1:1 by the university. More than 60% of the $9 million total funds will augment existing research and support new research at the U-M and other institutions throughout the Great Lakes basin to accomplish these goals; the other 40% will be used to convene experts throughout the basin to help guide the research and to work with Great Lakes managers, advocates and government officials to implement the recommendations.

Please click here for more detail on the grant and the University of Michigan Water Center.

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation’s mission is to nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metro Detroit, and support initiatives to restore the Great Lakes basin. The Foundation is particularly focused on improving water quality, especially in the watersheds impacting metro Detroit and Bayfield, Ontario; promoting environmental health and justice; and supporting the arts as a means to revitalize the metropolitan Detroit region. For more information, please visit erbff.org

Thank you for your continuing interest,
John M. Erb, President