The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (IISG) anticipates having $800,000 to invest in promising research projects relevant to southern Lake Michigan and surrounding coastal communities in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Work is to be completed in the 2024-25 biennium. Work can be conducted outside of the geographic area outlined above provided applicants make a compelling case for why their work is relevant to southern Lake Michigan and surrounding coastal communities.
Investigators from educational or research institutions including universities, museums, and NGOs, are eligible to serve as PI for these funds. Priority will be given to Illinois- and Indiana-based researchers. Researchers from other states are welcome to apply but proposed work must demonstrate how it will benefit the mission of IISG and/or meet research priorities.
Projects should propose to answer a clear research question or set of related questions, and should demonstrate fit with the IISG strategic plan. Five areas are of special interest for the 2024-25 funding cycle:
- Improving water safety, with a goal of reducing the number of drownings in Lake Michigan.
- Adapting to changing lake levels in the southern Lake Michigan region in support of healthy coastal ecosystems and resilient communities and economies.
- Better understanding contaminant levels in fish or shellfish that are or can be used for food. These may include Lake Michigan or tributary fish caught for subsistence fishing or Illinois- or Indiana-farm raised fish and shellfish. Contaminants to explore include but are not limited to legacy contaminants, contaminants of emerging concern, and toxic cyanobacteria from algal blooms (e.g., in nearshore regions; in ponds where fish or shellfish are raised).
- Addressing environmental justice concerns associated with restoration of degraded southern Lake Michigan coastal sites (e.g., decommissioned power plants, industrial parks).
- Exploring economic or legal barriers to production of Illinois- and/or Indiana-grown fish or shellfish (e.g., processing of organisms to be sold at restaurants, permitting or acquisition of resources to expand facilities, access to skilled laborers).
Additional topic areas of interest include broader aquaculture research, aquatic invasive species, community climate readiness, fisheries, healthy waters and pollution prevention, recreation and tourism, stormwater and green infrastructure, shoreline erosion, sustainable community planning, and water supply. All research projects should fit at least one of these topic areas.
Prospective PIs must submit a preproposal to be considered for funding. Applicants should submit materials via https://esg.iiseagrant.org/ by 11:59 p.m. Central time on February 6, 2023.
Additional information can be found here: https://iiseagrant.org/funding-opportunity-available-for-research-to-be-completed-in-2024-25/. Questions can be directed to Carolyn Foley (email@example.com).