The University of Wisconsin Superior and the Lake Superior Research Institute have announced a new initiative to re-establish hands on learning and research on a Lake Superior vessel. The goal is to purchase a vessel where they can implement educational and conservation missions on Lake Superior.

University of Wisconsin Superior alumni Bill and Lynne Rogers made the generous challenge donation of 100,000. The money will be used to match other contributions up to $100,000.  The Rogers said their support of this initiative comes from their love of the waters of Lake Superior. Bill had owned a chandlery business for years supplying ships with supplies and equipment in the harbor.

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Bill also remembers a time when he was a deckhand in the 1970's aboard an iron ore boat and witnessed environmental concerns from boats dumping paints, chemicals, and other toxins in the lake. Those experiences have made he and his wife Lynn passionate about the work that the Lake Superior Research Institute and UWS do in keeping the water clean.

The Floating Classroom project is in a 2 year planning phase that includes creating a boat acquisition planning committee with members from the U.S. Coast Guard and regional experts. The goal is to acquire a state of the art vessel where they can implement educational and research programs on Lake Superior from educators and programs anywhere around the world.

This isn't the first time a research program has been used. The LSRI managed the L.L. Smith JR vessel from 1978-2012. They hope to bring the program back with a newer, state of the art ship.

If you would like to donate and have your donation matched by the Rogers, you can do it online or by calling 715-394-8452.

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