January 9, 2023 - 9:34 am

$1.6 million in funding for Freshwater Research & Innovation Center

By 20Fathoms

The Discovery Center & Pier, will receive $1.6 million for the Freshwater Research & Innovation Center project in Traverse City as part of the federal government funding bill recently passed by Congress.

Once complete, the Freshwater Research and Innovation Center will establish the Grand Traverse region as a hub for applied freshwater innovation, offering research, education, commercialization, incubation, and acceleration programs. The project is a collaborative effort of 20Fathoms, Discovery Center & Pier, Michigan Technological University, Northwestern Michigan College, and Traverse Connect.

“I’m grateful for the support of our community partners on this project,” said Matt McDonough, CEO of Discovery Center & Pier. “Traverse Connect, in particular, was critical in helping us secure this funding, and I thank them for their leadership.”

The funding will be used to take the next steps in building new facilities on the current site of the Discovery Pier. This includes engaging an architect in design work and site planning, as well as financial planning. It also provides a significant piece of the funding needed to help build a classroom, lab, and docks for research vessels on the pier, which will enable water-related research projects to begin at the facility as early as summer 2023.   

“This appropriation represents an important bipartisan vote of confidence from lawmakers and is key to securing further state and federal investment in the project,” said Warren Call, President & CEO of Traverse Connect.

“Northwestern Michigan College appreciates this federal investment in our community partnership,” said Jason Slade, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Northwestern Michigan College. “One of NMC’s strategic plan goals is to make our Great Lakes Water Studies Institute a leading center for marine and geospatial programs, and we’re excited that the Freshwater Research and Innovation Center will allow us to further advance that work.”

“This Community Project Funding allocation is a real win for Traverse City,” said Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “A lot of work has already been completed in order to make the Freshwater Research & Innovation Center a reality and this funding will allow us to take the important next steps toward building a freshwater innovation hub on West Bay.”