"Stone Laboratory is Ohio State University Lake Laboratory, it's actually Ohio's Lake Laboratory and it has been Ohio's Lake Laboratory since 1895. In a typical year we will have about 70 investigators here working on a variety of projects. Some dealing with zebra mussels and round gobies and other invasive species, some dealing with endangered species like the Lake Erie Water Snake. Often times we're dealing with vegetation, the rooted aquatics or the wetlands species, and a tremendous amount of work focusing on the fishery, either the walleye fishery or the perch fishery. And right now we're doing a lot of work on round gobies and other invasive species and their relationship with small mouth bass and yellow perch. Also, a tremendous amount of work goes on about the chemistry of the water itself. The impacts of nutrient loading from agricultural land and sewage treatment plants and combined sewer outfalls are still a problem in many of our communities, including Cleveland. Every time we have a rainfall we get raw sewage going out into the Lake. And that's going to be expensive to correct that but it's something that clearly needs work and everyone is working on.
The Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Sea Grant College Program in NOAA. There are 32 Sea Grant Programs in the country. Every coastal state, including the Great Lake states have a Sea Grant Program. In Ohio it's centered at the Ohio State University but other colleges and universities are involved. And what we do is have a partnership between government, academia and the private sector. We're going to focus on what I call the three e's: the environment, the economy and education and we're going to do that through research, education and outreach. So we have research problems dealing with the economy, the environment, and dealing with the education. We focus on education from essentially grades four through adult groups and with our outreach program we try to get the results of our research out to the people that will use that information. And we also, through our outreach program, try to identify the real needs, the real problems. Not simply the problems that an academic scientist will identify, but what are the people who live up here, who live on Lake Erie, what are the problems they are seeing? What are things that are preventing development and utilization of this resource? And those are the things we're focusing on.
When I think about the Sea Grant Program, when I think about Lake Erie, we're trying to solve problems on Lake Erie. And we're trying to be proactive to identify and address issues before they become problems. We spend a great deal of time try to enhance the economic value of Lake Erie. And essentially we've been able to generate 50 dollars of economic improvement and economic impact for every dollar that the state invests in our program."