Mayors from across the Great Lakes region met this fall to discuss a response to this summer’s Lake Erie toxic algae outbreak that shut down the water supply for almost half a million people in Toledo and the surrounding suburbs. Bottled water ran out in stores across the area, and residents fled the city in search of clean water – an option not available to Lake Erie’s diverse and fascinating array of wildlife.
Earlier this week, UN Special Rapporteurs visiting Detroit labeled the city’s nearly 27,000 residential water shutoffs as contrary to basic human rights and disproportionately onerous on the city’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. The Rapporteurs drew these conclusions after a weekend of meetings with city officials and residents.
Electricity for rainforest villages in Gabon. Tent fabric that harvests solar energy for nomadic people in Kazakhstan. A modular greenhouse and fish farm in an unused industrial building in Highland Park, Michigan.
These are some of the goals and possibilities a team of 17 researchers will pursue with a new $3 million Third Century Initiative Global Challenges grant from the University of Michigan.