Letter from Sea Grant Director

Weddings, hiring dates, cultural events … anniversaries come and go. Are they so common as to seem meaningless? If you ask our partners and stakeholders—freshwater scientists, community leaders, educators, students, resource managers and coastal residents—you’re going to get a resounding “no” to that question. 

Here at Wisconsin Sea Grant, we are particularly motivated to celebrate our anniversary because all that we do is based on the wonder of the world’s largest freshwater system, the Great Lakes. Throughout 2022 and with this special double issue of the Aquatic Sciences Chronicle, we celebrate 50 years of Great Lakes science for our future. 

While we’ll never fully capture the entirety of the spirit and history of our program on these pages, we’re offering a sample of the people and projects that have shaped our work, which is the embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea. 

We also share stories about current Sea Grant research on emerging contaminants, a flooding resilience initiative and our staff’s contributions to a statewide blueprint for how to adapt to climate change in Wisconsin. Another story details research about road salt and waterways, a project of Sea Grant’s sister organization, the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute. 

If you are holding a hard copy of this newsletter, we know you will appreciate the insert featuring the commemorative 50th anniversary mural installed on the Sturgeon Bay City Hall, thanks to our partners in that coastal community. 

The mural was created and installed this year by a talented group, Erin LaBonte, Jody Henseler and Don Krumpos. If you are reading this in an electronic format, you will not have received this stunning hard-copy rendering of the life cycles integral to the ecosystems of Lake Michigan, which also includes interactions with humans. To receive a copy of the artwork, send a request along with your mailing address to moira@aqua.wisc.edu. 

You can also step beyond these pages and dive into the Internet to review a long list of the ways in which Wisconsin Sea Grant has furthered science and helped people. It’s a collection of hundreds of our impacts collected by the National Sea Grant College Program and stored on its website, accessible through go.wisc.edu/89zq0l. 

Whether you explore our past through this newsletter or that National Sea Grant website, be assured that we are honored to have you as a part of our history and excited to share with you the promise of the future as we work toward the continued health and understanding of the Great Lakes. 

Best regards, 

Jim Hurley 

Director of Wisconsin Sea Grant and the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute