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Online Data Tool Launched to Support Great Lakes Decision-Making

By Katherine Balpataky 10:34AM October 27, 2017

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The Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy have launched new information services for their Blue Accounting initiative at the 2017 Leadership Summit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers in Detroit.

Blue Accounting is designed to help leaders across the Great Lakes Basin manage the freshwater in a more collaborative, effective, and holistic way. It was developed in response to a call for better management of Great Lakes resources from the governors and the premier of Ontario in 2013.

Data for decisions
The Blue Accounting website hosts a number of data-based tools intended to provide reliable, timely, and easily understandable information to help Great Lakes leaders set goals, identify necessary investments, and track 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 lake 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.

For more information visit blueaccounting.org.

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