The goal to advance “clean trade” in the region and beyond, especially through the prevention and management of aquatic invasive species in waterborne commerce, is an area of Institute expertise dating to the 1990’s.
Clean trade is the commercial movement of goods without negative environmental effects such as aquatic invasive species introductions. The Institute is now expanding this clean trade focus to address other trade and transportation externalities, including preventing the introduction and spread of non-native forest pests and diseases, and minimizing carbon dioxide and other air emissions.
The Institute’s Waterborne Trade and the Environment / Invasive Species portfolio is outcome-oriented, and ranges from paper studies to plankton counts. The objective of the program is to nurture trade and transportation opportunities that preserve and improve the region’s natural resource capital and other regional assets. The Institute’s program targets and enables win-win opportunities to improve environmental and economic conditions within the region.
The Institute’s primary activities in this policy area include:
- Catalyzing regional and collaborative joint enterprises, such as the Great Ships Initiative, with the goal of directly enhancing productive green trade and transportation for the Northeast-Midwest region;
- Providing timely information and analysis to policy makers on Capitol Hill and in state and federal agencies throughout the Northeast-Midwest region in support of effective policy development; and
- Conducting and publishing primary scientific research to fill critical information gaps that hamper effective policy-making.