Twenty-one universities and institutions in the U.S. and Canada are developing plans for long-term research projects to help protect and restore the Great Lakes.
The University of Michigan is among the participants in the collaboration announced Monday. It's called the Great Lakes Futures Project.
It will begin with a series of papers describing factors that have affected the lakes over the past 50 years and those expected to have an effect in the next 50 years. Among them are invasive species, climate change, the economy and chemical pollution.
The studies are expected to help academics, government officials, industry and others answer big-picture questions such as how to manage watersheds.
The project also will produce scholarly and popular publications and conduct public events with schools and community groups.