Our Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) group is composed of Sea Grant extension educators, science communicators, fisheries biologists, economists, and aquaculture specialists from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Our goal is to work together to support an environmentally responsible, science-based, competitive, and sustainable aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes region.
Ohio Sea Grant’s (OHSG) Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Educators provide hands-on workshops and courses, organize conferences for stakeholder audiences, and field questions from clientele. OHSG is part of the team building the Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) and coordinate with Ohio’s aquaculture industry, researchers, and OSU aquaculture specialists to identify research, education, and outreach needs. They engage Ohio Charter Captain’s, 4-H youth, sport fishers, and other community members in programs that educate and address critical issues for Lake Erie and Ohio’s watersheds.
Michigan Sea Grant works to supports the region’s recreational and commercial fisheries and aquaculture operations. They do this by providing education and outreach programs to all different fisheries and aquaculture sectors and the general public. These programs seek to enhance the sustainable use of coastal resources and support a thriving Great Lakes Economy. Programs include things like K-12 education activities, community fishery workshops bringing together anglers and fishery managers, aquaculture workforce development programs, assistance to charter captain, commercial fisheries and aquaculture operators, and more. In addition MI Sea Grant works in cooperation with local partners to provide Seafood Safety training for fish producers.
Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) focuses on collaborating with fisheries and aquaculture researchers and stakeholders around Minnesota to provide research support and a bridge to communicate technical information to stakeholders, managers, and the public. MNSG addresses specific questions and issues associated with recreational fisheries statewide and recreational, commercial, and charter fisheries on Lake Superior. We also collaborate with stakeholders and researchers to understand the potential for an environmentally sustainable aquaculture industry within Minnesota and across the Great Lakes region.
Recognizing that both Wisconsin fisheries and aquaculture produce sustainable seafood for consumers and support jobs, Wisconsin Sea Grant engages in a robust program of research and outreach in these areas. A fisheries specialist and two aquaculture specialists are on staff.
With changing Great Lakes fisheries, research helps inform new management strategies. Recent funded projects have focused on the lake trout fishery and food web dynamics in Lake Superior, and the decline of yellow perch and smelt fisheries in Lake Michigan. The Wisconsin Sea Grant fisheries specialist works closely with the fishery industry to support sustainable harvest and reduce conflict with other stakeholders.
Aquaculture is a dynamic, $21 million dollar industry in the state, with the potential for growth. Wisconsin Sea Grant funds research that generates actionable science for farmers, such as how to best raise certain species, understand consumer preferences and stay on top of environmentally responsible practices. Strong collaboration exists with partners, including the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, for both research and outreach.
Eat Wisconsin Fish provides information about Wisconsin wild-harvested and farm-raised fish to the public. This Wisconsin Sea Grant initiative also fosters the livelihoods of Wisconsin’s commercial fishers and fish farmers by helping them share their products with wider audiences.
As part of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System, University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering educational programs to residents, businesses, and communities for solving problems, developing skills, and building a better future. U of I Extension offers educational programs on energy and environmental stewardship, food safety and security, economic development and workforce preparedness, family health, financial security, and wellness; and youth development.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) works with stakeholders, researchers, and partners throughout Illinois, Indiana, and the Great Lakes region by supporting research and providing education and outreach to recreational anglers, boaters, charter boat fisheries, educators, and aquaculture producers. IISG’s fisheries and aquaculture programming is focused on community resilience and sustainability. IISG education and outreach programs address water safety, climate readiness, and pond management, to name just a few topics, and include resources for aquaculture producers and K-12 educators.
Purdue FNR develops and disseminates new knowledge about aquatic animals and their habitats, including aquaculture, interactions between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, fates and effects of pollutants, and appropriate management practices for the protection and use of aquatic ecosystems. Recent research has included a meta-analysis of the effects of exposure to microplastics on fish and aquatic invertebrates as well as work assessing the effects of “forever chemicals” or PFAS, on amphibians.