Policy Perspectives on Research: Changing the Menu in Lake Michigan

The spread of invasive Dreissenid mussels has relocated nutrients from the open water to the floor of Lake Michigan. How has this shift impacted the diets of fish and invertebrates in this system? Ben Turshak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and his co-authors use state-of-the-art stable isotope techniques to determine the impact of these changes on the diets of aquatic organisms. Managers and policymakers can use this information to identify who the winners and losers are in this new Lake Michigan food web and plan their efforts accordingly.

Policy Perspectives PDF

Policy Perspectives on Research: Placing a Value on Wetlands

While we know wetlands are valuable, it is difficult to place an accurate value on them. In their paper, “Valuing Urban Wetlands: A Review of Non-Market Valuation Studies,” Dr. Tracy Boyer (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Dr. Stephen Polasky (University of Minnesota) review methods for wetland valuation, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches. Their work highlights the logistical, financial, philosophical, and geographical challenges inherent in estimating the value of wetlands, while also stressing the need for such valuation from a public policy perspective.

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Great Lakes Restoration and Climate Change Conference at Wingspread

Great Lakes Climate ChangeThe Wingspread Event on Great Lakes Restoration and Climate Change (15-17 April 2014) convened renowned regional and national leaders, scientists and other Great Lakes stakeholders to discuss climate change impacts on restoration efforts in this vital system. Through plenary addresses and working groups, attendees discussed various ways policymakers can improve existing restoration efforts in the Great Lakes and develop new ways to address the effects of climate change on this vital system.

Conference Report

Background Briefs: Energy; Agriculture; Habitat Restoration; Invasive SpeciesNearshore Health; Toxic Substances

Climate Change Impacts on Rain-Related Disease in Wisconsin

streetflooding_300Impending hydrological changes due to climate change, combined with vulnerabilities due to failing infrastructure, pose a threat to public health. More frequent and intense storm events combined with leaky wastewater and drinking water pipes can promote waterborne diseases, often affecting children the most. This series of policy briefs explores the linkages between climate change and rain-related disease, providing details about the potential challenges facing Wisconsin and what policymakers can do to overcome them.

Executive Summary

Policy Briefs: A Warmer WisconsinWell Water VulnerabilityWater Main BreaksStormwater RisksProactive Surveillance and Alert SystemsIncreased Storm FrequencyLong-Term Epidemiological StudiesKids At Most RiskLateral ReplacementImproving Infrastructure