People reap benefits of investment in nature

Great Lakes

What do eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces have in Common? The Great Lakes! Recently, Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Now Connect invited Institute on the Environment resident fellow Stephen Polasky to join a panel of experts to talk about the importance of investing in natural environments to enhance the quality of the Great Lakes.

It’s easy to understand that clean water is important for drinking, fisheries, irrigation, recreation and other benefits that people reap from the Great Lakes. What may not be as obvious is the effect that coastal and upland habitats have on water quality.

Polasky is Fesler Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics and an interdisciplinary chair in the departments of Applied Economics and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. The panel was mediated by Katherine Kahl, conservation policy and program specialist at The Nature Conservancy, Michigan and Great Lakes region. Also in on the discussion were Heather Stirratt, NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team coordinator; Jon Fosgitt, forest management specialist from Compass Land Consultants; and Amanda Weinstein, Department of Economics at the University of Akron.

Banner image courtesy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (Flickr | Creative Commons)