Fiery words from a former Senior EPA Advisor who spoke at the 60th Annual International Association for Great Lakes Research at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.
It was the largest IAGLR conference in history. More than 1025 participants came to a city that organizers tell Great Lakes Now has become the epicenter for Great Lakes research.
Researchers presented papers on algal blooms, invasive species and climate change. But plenary speaker Cameron Davis, a former Senior Advisor to two EPA administrators, said the biggest threat to the Great Lakes is complacency.
Davis urged scientists to become advocates and protectors of the Great Lakes. And he said “there’s a war on science.”
Davis said, “The rise of regionalism is also a force to be reckoned with, and the Great Lakes region is such a force.” He said, “We are scientists AND citizens” and people who live along the Great Lakes “stand up for the protection of water because our very lives and livelihoods depend on it. “ (see Cam Davis video)
The title of the conference: “From Cities to Farms: Shaping Great Lakes Ecosystems.”
Davis expressed fears that the changing economy is forcing small farmers to go out of business and large corporate farms that might not be such good stewards to the Great Lakes could soon own huge swaths of land along the lakes’ shores.
Davis also urged scientists to do a better job of communicating with each other, and to invest in new ways to predict events that could impact the Great Lakes in the future.
For more information about IAGLR go to http://iaglr.org/iaglr2017/