Lakebed 2030 convenes partners to map Great Lakes

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC will host the Lakebed 2030 conference, an update on collaborative efforts to map the world’s largest available freshwater body, Sept. 28-30 at the Hagerty Center on its Great Lakes campus.

Formed in 2019, Lakebed 2030 is a consortium of researchers, policy, governmental and industry partners which seeks to fully map the 244,160 square kilometers of the Great Lakes at high resolution by 2030. Presently, only approximately 15 percent is mapped. Even some of the existing maps of the lake floor rely on data that is decades old and low-density.

This lack of information inhibits effective management, research, and innovation, particularly under mounting climate change threats, including severe drought in the United States, and a growing “blue economy” in the Great Lakes region.

With a keynote delivered by RADM Benjamin K. Evans, Director, NOAA Office of Coast Survey, the conference will bring together Great Lakes experts and stakeholders from around the U.S. and Canada to:

  • Focus on high-resolution mapping and bathymetry data in the Great Lakes.
  • Develop a strategy to catalog new and existing lake bed information for shared use.
  • Share the latest technology advancements with the Great Lakes community.

NMC students will also participate in the conference, including a roundtable employer discussion regarding career opportunities. Graduates of NMC’s Marine Technology bachelor’s degree program are highly sought after by employers working in the global marine space. NMC also offers professional development courses through the Marine Center.

The Great Lakes contain more than 80 percent of North America’s surface freshwater and 20 percent of Earth’s surface freshwater. Mapping it completely at high density is estimated to cost $200 million.

Lakebed 2030 registration is $200 for in-person attendance and $50 for virtual attendance. See the full schedule here.


Release Date: September 13, 2022

For More Information:

Hans W. Van Sumeren, CMarTech
Director, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
Northwestern Michigan College
(231) 995-1793

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