After countless hours of work, coordination, and four years of hard work the Great Lakes Encounter Symposium starts in just two days. Organizers have invited government leaders from all levels, from all around the great lakes, including friends across the border in Canada. The purpose of the symposium is to introduce government leaders to the vitality of the great lakes economy, and where the water’s health conditions are at. Jeffery Loman, a lead organizer, says that it is very important to include as many levels of government and get a diverse group of leaders to the conference, as climate change begins to increasingly affect the economies and health of the lakes.
The four day conference emphasizes hearing from a diverse group of industry and scientific leaders, as well as including the voices of local tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Political leaders will hear from a variety of scientific researchers. Loman hopes that the symposium will show leaders just how important the future of the great lakes are to the people that live, work , and play here.
Another one of the topics that will be discussed is protecting drinking water, and preventing water crises like Flint and Benton Harbor. Leaders will also hear about the economic potential of the lakes in the coming future, with technology like unmanned ships to break ice. The first day of the conference is this Wednesday, at the great lakes research center on Michigan Tech’s campus.