Blue Accounting is a program designed to support strategic decision-making throughout the Great Lakes water system. Led jointly by the Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy, the program is organized around our use of and values associated with water in three categories: social values, sustainable human uses, and healthy aquatic ecosystems. Blue Accounting seeks to fill the information gap between the decisions Great Lakes leaders make and the outcomes these decisions influence. The program will bring together key stakeholders in prominent Great Lakes issue areas to help them:
- Create sets of shared basin-wide goals for the desired outcome.
- Identify strategic actions and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of investments and programs.
- Determine the data necessary to support the metrics.
- Make investments in regional information management and delivery infrastructure to effectively and efficiently track and report progress towards goals.
We will begin with a focus on three pilot issues: Aquatic Invasive Species, Connectivity, and Domestic Water Supply. For each issue, collaborative working groups (collaboratives) will develop metrics—a means for Great Lakes leaders to easily understand progress and the return on investment. These metrics may be both qualitative and quantitative and will combine data from many sources. The collaboratives will assist the Blue Accounting team to curate and integrate data from diverse sources and deliver it to key decision-makers through the Blue Accounting and other online information platforms.