Indiana's Department of Natural Resources was one of a group of organizations recently recognized with a U.S. Department of the Interior Partners in Conservation Award for being part of what is becoming known as one of the world's finest examples of trans-boundary cooperation for work on the Great Lakes.
DNR's Stu Shipman, north regional fisheries supervisor, received the award on DNR's behalf from Suzette Kimball, deputy director of the U.S. Geological Survey, on Oct. 27.
Achievements by the award-winning group, which comprises state, federal and tribal fisheries agencies, along with the bi-national Great Lakes Fishery Commission, include: successful rehabilitation of native species; production of world-class research through technical committees and similar partnerships; disease prevention and management; development of common fish community objectives for each lake; effective coordination of law enforcement; publication of "State-of-the-Lake" reports; sharing of equipment, resources, and data; and cutting-edge research on aquatic invasive species and control, sustainable stocking levels, and allocation agreements on harvest quotas.
The Great Lakes fishery is one of the most important freshwater resources on Earth. It's worth $7 billion, provides recreation to 5 million anglers, supports 75,000 jobs, and contributes to a rich cultural heritage valued by the more than 30 million people who live near the lakes.
In April 2009, the partners signed a new five-year agreement to confirm, once again, their commitment to leveraging each other's resources, avoiding duplication of effort and sharing critical scientific data to help decision makers conserve and sustain the vitality of the Great Lakes.