Blue Accounting website launched; provides new information services to Great Lakes governors & premiers
DETROIT – The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) and The Nature Conservancy launched new information services for their Blue Accounting initiative (www.blueaccounting.org) at the 2017 Leadership Summit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers in Detroit. Blue Accounting, which helps leaders across the Great Lakes basin manage the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem in a more collaborative, effective and holistic manner, was developed in response to a call for better management of Great Lakes resources from the governors and the premier of Ontario in 2013.
The new Blue Accounting website will provide reliable, timely, and easily understandable information to help Great Lakes leaders assess how their investments and actions are affecting the condition of our economy and natural resources in the Great Lakes region. This is needed as hundreds of different groups – across eight states and two provinces – currently invest billions of dollars in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. Blue Accounting brings together data and information from across the basin to understand how all of these investments add up to progress.
“Water truly sustains us all and we should have a better, more complete understanding of how the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are doing,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “Blue Accounting allows us to keep score on the progress we’re making and the challenges that remain in restoring and protecting this incredible economic and environmental resource.”
Blue Accounting is supporting projects across five key areas of Great Lakes health: aquatic invasive species, coastal wetlands, maritime transportation, phosphorus control (known as ErieStat), and source water protection. Each project is led by a collaborative group of state, provincial, federal, academic and private sector stakeholders.
“The Great Lakes states are looking forward to the launch of Blue Accounting’s ErieStat so we can understand the progress we’re making toward protecting Lake Erie, a vital source of fresh drinking water for millions of people, from harmful algal blooms,” said Bruno Pigott, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. ErieStat, which showcased a demonstration at the Summit, will publish data and information from the states and provinces in 2018.
The Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy co-lead Blue Accounting, with cooperation from federal, state, provincial, local and private sector organizations. Blue Accounting receives funding support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chairman John Linc Stine, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at www.glc.org.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, water and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 69 countries, we use a collaborative approach the engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org/michigan.