Exploring Challenges Facing the Great Lakes: Julia Noordyk’s View

Anne Moser, senior special librarian for the Wisconsin Water Library, asked some of our Sea Grant staff members recently what the biggest challenges are facing the Great Lakes today. We are featuring their answers in a series of blog posts. This is the forth post in the series. (Read Post 1Post 2 and Post 3 if you missed them.)

One of the people she asked is Julia Noordyk, our water quality and coastal communities outreach specialist.

Julia joined the Wisconsin Sea Grant in 2013 and works out of our Green Bay field office. A former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration coastal management fellow, Julia came to Sea Grant from the Maine Coastal Program where she was a senior planner working on outreach programs in offshore wind energy, water quality and coastal public access. Julia has a master’s degree in conservation biology and sustainable development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Colorado State University.

Here’s her answer to “What are the biggest challenges facing the Great Lakes today?”

• Climate change – it compounds many other issues. If people living near Door County want to get involved there’s a fairly active citizen’s climate group called Climate Change Coalition of Door County that they can join.

• Dangerous waves and rip currents.

She sees opportunities within these challenges. Among them are Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, which she credits as a game-changer for cleaning up polluted hotspots and restoring habitat in the Great Lakes.

Julia also cites the efforts of place-based Great Lakes literacy programs and citizen science programs as providing ways citizens can learn more about issues and gain firsthand experience with them. Opportunities also abound for citizen restoration projects, such as planting pollinator species gardens. She says that Door County has a well-organized program concerned with invasive plant species removal and management with which people can become involved.

This information and more can be found in Anne’s presentation, “The Great, Great Lakes: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century.”

Anne is available to give the PowerPoint presentation to groups in Wisconsin who want to know more about the Great Lakes, and she’ll do it for FREE! If interested, you can contact Anne at akmoser@aqua.wisc.edu or by calling 608-262-3069.

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