The Great Lakes Center (GLC) is a crucial environmental research entity that helps to identify the overall health of Buffalo’s bodies various of water. From the Scajaquada Creek to the Buffalo River, the GLC keeps close tabs on the complex aquatic ecosystems that surround us, by monitoring the fragile balances of the water and the wildlife that depends on it. Some of the organization’s recent projects include:
- Great Lakes long-term monitoring
- Investigating lake sturgeon in the Lower Niagara River
- Emerald shiner habitat in the Upper Niagara River
- Early detection of invasive fish in the Great Lakes
- Conservation of native freshwater mussels in Great Lakes coastal zones
- Monitoring Scajaquada Creek water quality
- Assessing the impact of Buffalo’s aging sewer system on area waterways
- Administers the Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM)
- Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on mussel conservation around the United States
“Since 1966, Buffalo State’s Great Lakes Center has worked with local, regional, national, and international partners to improve water quality in the Great Lakes watershed,” said GLC President Katherine Conway-Turner. “Having the only waterfront field station in the SUNY system has allowed the center to conduct research, implement observation systems, and attract scientists whose freshwater expertise has benefited researchers all over the world.”
GLC has offices at Buffalo State, as well as a field station located near the FLW Rowing Boathouse where 11 research vessels are kept. Along with the vessels, the center also features an aquatic lab and an educational pavilion. A typical day at the field station might involve the monitoring and study of fisheries, water quality, and sediment dynamics. Keeping tabs on our waterways is a big job, and it’s also essential to the longterm health of our fresh water supply.
Having the only waterfront field station in the SUNY system has allowed the center to conduct research, implement observation systems, and attract scientists whose freshwater expertise has benefited researchers all over the world.
“We are steadily increasing our research, our funding, our cooperation with area agencies and community organizations, and expanding opportunities for hands-on experience for students at Buffalo State, UB, and other institutions,” said Alexander Karatayev, an international expert in freshwater mollusks, who also directs the center and its research. “I think we are in a good position to celebrate our 50th anniversary.”
Currently, GLC is celebrating its 50 Year Anniversary of scientific research in and around the Great Lakes by hosting an event on Friday, April 15 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State from 3:30 to 6:00 pm. The vessel John J. Friedhoff will be exhibited in front of the art center on that day, along with a 28’ Privateer. Also attending will be a number of the 12 full-time employees of the station, and a handful of the 10 Buffalo State affiliate researchers. The public is invited to attend the event and learn about a number of the GLC projects that are presently underway.