By Dan Shapley
A new partnership between the federal government and 10 universities, the Great Lakes Cooperative Institute, will launch a holistic study of the Great Lakes, which hold one fifth of the world's freshwater, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday. The collaborative research project will study various threats to the lake and solutions for restoration, as well as undertaking ongoing scientific monitoring of water quality indicators, education and outreach. "Maintaining strong cooperative relationships with academic institutions is critical to providing the scientific basis for sound decision-making that helps preserve the health and vitality of the Great Lakes region ecology," Stephen B. Brandt, director of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, said in a statement sent to the press. Officially known as the Great Lakes Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, it will have participation from colleges and universities, and their students, in six states. "Cooperative Institutes serve a vital function by providing education and training to future generations of our nation and NOAA's scientific workforce," Conrad Lautenbacher, a NOAA undersecretary, said in a statement sent to the press.