The Laurentian Great Lakes are an invaluable natural and economic resource for two North American countries, but really the entire world. They are threatened by anthropogenic, climate and biotic stresses; and it is increasingly difficult to manage them due to the complexity of interactions among these different stressors. At the same time, funding for Great Lakes scientific research is decreasing and there are threats from the current US administration to decrease funding significantly in the near future. Now is not the time to move our understanding of these incredible ecosystems back in time. We call for implementing a science plan that addresses critical Great Lakes issues, including upgrading infrastructure (e.g. field stations and observing networks) and resolving current and emerging issues (e.g. harmful algal blooms, recurring bottom water hypoxia, invasive species, changing water levels and nutrient cycles) by strengthening NSF, NOAA and EPA support of basic and applied science in the Great Lakes.
- Great Lakes science