The following pilot projects are being designed to demonstrate how collaboration and an information management and delivery system can help us more efficiently make progress on key Great Lakes issues. 

Connectivity
  • While dams and roads in the Great Lakes region have long served human needs for flood management, transportation, energy generation, recreation and sea lamprey control, they have also adversely fragmented our freshwater systems. More than 7,000 dams and 135,000 road crossings act as barriers to water flow and fish passage, disrupting river connectivity essential to the overall economic and ecological health of the region.
  • This Blue Accounting pilot program will support and serve collaborative efforts by federal and state agencies and NGOs to assess the benefits and drawbacks of barrier removal in light of basin-wide goals, and facilitate a better flow of information between stakeholders, with an overall goal of promoting healthy, diverse and connected habitats. 

Source Water
  • The Great Lakes serve as the source of drinking water for more than 40 million people, but there are many issues threatening the quality of water in its basin. 
  • The Blue Accounting Source Water Initiative will track progress toward the established goal of reducing phosphorus by 40% in Western Lake Erie. The Initiative will also gather water quality professionals from across the Great Lakes Basin to set shared goals for securing safe and sustainable water for domestic use and measure progress against those goals. 
  • The regional work group will first test the collaborative Blue Accounting process within the Western Lake Erie watershed before adapting and expanding throughout the Basin. 

Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Aquatic invasive species threaten the ecological health of the Great Lakes by competing for food and habitat and disrupting the aquatic food chain. Their spread is also an economic threat, costing communities and businesses over $100 million dollars each year.
  • This Blue Accounting pilot program will support and serve established regional efforts to promote collaboration and effective management of AIS. The program, modeled on the successful Great Lakes sea lamprey management program, will focus both on preventing new species from entering the watershed and better managing established invasive species. 
  • ​Working with existing groups, this pilot program will facilitate and measure progress toward comprehensive and complementary policies and management practices that ensure healthy, abundant wildlife and a sustainable water-based economy.

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