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If Great Lakes' water levels seemed high this year, 2020's coastlines could see even more waves lapping at their edges, panelists at IPPSR's most recent Public Policy Forum said this month in encouraging a public dialogue about benefits and opportunities. 

Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research marked the year’s rising water levels with a Public Policy Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in downtown Lansing.

See a video of the entire IPPSR Policy Forum. Photos and presentations can be found by clicking here.

Panelists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Michigan’s Coastal Management Program, and MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources sustainability programs shared photos and graphs showing that changing weather patterns -- and the fluctuations in water supply they cause -- are driving upwardly rising water levels. The Great Lakes' Basic spans 14,000 miles of shoreline, 95,000 square miles of water, 200,000 square miles of land crossing eight states and two Canadian provinces.

“IPPSR's Forum presented fact-based information on the Great Lakes’ water levels and their impact on natural resources, tourism and infrastructure,” said Matt Grossmann, IPPSR Director and political scientist.

Panelists included:

  • Keith Kompoltowicz, Chief, Watershed Hydrology Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE), Detroit District Office.
  • Charles Nelson, Associate Professor, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, (CANR) Dept of Community Sustainability.
  • Gail A. Vander Stoep, Associate Professor, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dept of Community Sustainability and Museum Studies.
  • Ronda Wuycheck, Coastal Management Program Manager, Water Resources Division, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

They encouraged shoreline residents and communities to talk openly about coping, mitigating and planning for water's changing levels rather than a battle with nature to be won or lost.

The next IPPSR Public Policy Forum is set for Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. The topic: residential living's intersection with nature and wildlife.

Presentations, photos and videos from all IPPSR Public Policy Forums are available on IPPSR’s website at

As a unit of the College of Social Science, IPPSR is focused on public policy, political leadership and survey research. It administers the Michigan Political Leadership Program and the Michigan Applied Public Policy Research Program.

IPPSR is also known for its Michigan Policy Wonk Blog, State of the State Podcast, Michigan Policy Insiders Panel, Correlates of State Policy, Public Policy Fellowships and IPPSR Affiliated Faculty from across the MSU campus.

Watch for upcoming topics and 2020 IPPSR Forum dates on, #IPPSRForums on Twitter and IPPSR on Facebook.