UW-Superior transportation and logistics expert Dr. Richard Stewart has been named to the first Great Lakes Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Professor Stewart is chair of the Department of Business and Economics and Director of the Transportation and Logistics Research Center program at UW-Superior.
Stewart, who was appointed to a two-year term, said he welcomes the chance to represent the area on this important advisory board. “I’m significantly honored that I’m able to help out with this advisory board. The diverse representation that is on the board is very beneficial to making informed decisions on restoring the Great Lakes,” he said.
Stewart is one of 18 people representing a broad group of stakeholders named to the first Great Lakes Advisory Board, which will play a part in advising how the EPA spends $300 million in restoring the Great Lakes for future generations. Stewart said the board has an important mission to carry out and he has a special bond to the subject. “I was born in and spent most of my life in Great Lakes states. The Lakes are one of the most precious assets in the world,” he said. “Keeping these inland seas fresh and clean and environmentally healthy is critical to our nation’s overall health and the health of the ecosystems that surround the Great Lakes.”
Among Stewart’s many accomplishments, he was a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, as a merchant mariner commanded ocean-going ships, and managed a $300 million fleet of tankers and bulk vessels trading worldwide. He believes in protecting the water for everyone. “Aldo Leopold created the concept of a Land Use Ethic and I believe we need a Great Lakes Use Ethic that establishes a stewardship for these bodies of water. We hold these Great Lakes in trust for future generations,” he said.
Stewart is co-director of the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI), www.glmri.org which was established in 2004 to pursue research efforts in marine transportation, logistics, economics, engineering, environmental planning, and port management. The US Maritime Administration designated it as a National Maritime Enhancement Institute on June 1, 2005.
The Institute is a consortium of the UW-Superior’s Transportation and Logistics Research Center and the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Swenson College of Science and Engineering and Labovitz School of Business and Economics.
The Transportation and Logistics Research Center at UW-Superior (TLRC) was created in 1999 under Stewart’s direction. The mission of the TLRC is to provide applied transportation, and logistics research, education, and advisory services that advance the economy of the region. Faculty, staff, and students in the program contribute to the research efforts of the Transportation and Logistics Research Center.
In a statement, EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said: “Protecting the Great Lakes — the largest surface freshwater system on Earth — is important for the health and well-being of millions of people. Today I’m pleased to announce the membership of the first-ever great Lakes Advisory Board. The scientists, business leaders, public servants, and representatives of non-profit organizations who make up the Advisory Board will help us build upon the success we’ve already seen and move forward into the next phases of Great Lakes restoration and protection.”
The Great Lakes provide more than 30 million Americans with drinking water and underpin a multi-billion dollar economy. In February 2009, President Obama proposed the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. GLRI funds are being used to accelerate cleanup work in the 29 remaining AOCs identified by the U.S. and Canada under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The Great Lakes Advisory Board will provide advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator, who serves as chair of the federal Interagency Task Force. EPA considered candidates from a broad range of interests including business, agriculture, foundations, environmental justice groups, youth organizations, environmental groups, academia and state, local and tribal representatives.