Great Lakes Commission launches new Blue Accounting website tracking regional progress on Lake Erie algae, aquatic invasive species
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) today launched a new website that allows Great Lakes decision-makers to track the region’s progress to reduce harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and stop aquatic invasive species.
The new site, www.blueaccounting.org, tracks efforts under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to reduce the runoff of phosphorus from priority watersheds to Lake Erie, as well as programs and policies that stop species introduction, detect new species, and control harmful invasive species across the region.
The new site follows years of GLC collaboration with work groups that include representatives of state, provincial and federal governments, as well as the academic, nonprofit and private sectors. The work groups identify available data on specific issues, share information about current efforts, and help to translate those pieces into the information the region’s leaders need when making decisions that impact Great Lakes restoration and protection.
“Connecting scientists and policy experts across sectors is one of the key values this new site is bringing to the region,” said GLC Chair Todd L. Ambs of Wisconsin. “It’s our goal to use data to answer the critical question of how we are doing when it comes to protecting and restoring our Great Lakes.”
“This website provides us an opportunity to showcase our regional success stories, and make the case for continued, strategic investments in the Great Lakes,” said GLC Executive Director Erika S. Jensen. “We believe this work, as it grows and evolves, will set new standards for regional collaboration and stewardship. Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is a team effort, and we appreciate the support of our commissioners, work groups, and partners in launching this new website.”
Additional work is underway to track efforts to protect the region’s drinking water, enhance maritime transportation, and build climate resiliency. Related data products and tools developed on these topics during an earlier phase of Blue Accounting, remain available in the website’s data portal.
Blue Accounting has received generous 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 Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also contributed significant resources and expertise to Blue Accounting’s development.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Todd L. Ambs, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (retired), is a binational government agency established in 1955 to protect the Great Lakes and the economies and ecosystems they support. Its membership includes leaders from the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin. The GLC recommends policies and practices to balance the use, development, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes and brings the region together to work on issues that no single community, state, province, or nation can tackle alone. Learn more at www.glc.org.