ABSTRACT<br/><br/>The ten largest freshwater lakes hold nearly two-thirds (62%) of the planet's surface fresh water. These and other large lakes are already important sources of fresh water for society that may be tapped for greater withdrawals in the coming century. Large lakes are also invaluable national resources for transportation, tourism, recreation, commercial fisheries and food production, and they are increasingly stressed by regional development. Most of these lakes are unique, complex ecosystems whose dynamics differ from both oceans and small lakes. Despite the importance and uniqueness of large lakes throughout the world, the current level of NSF funding for these aquatic systems is surprisingly small. We propose to hold a workshop that will develop a science and implementation plan for basic research on large lakes. A report will be produced that will define the rationale for this research, outline some of the current pressing questions, identify the needs of the research community, and provide advice to NSF for the future management of great lakes proposals.
Workshop on Large Lakes Science in Duluth, Minnesota, Summer 2002