Pollution Probe and the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) have partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada on a project to improve approaches to watershed management and adaptive decision-making in the Great Lakes. RBC has contributed $100,000 to the project.

This project will leverage big data and advanced computing to improve watershed planning and predictive decision-making in the Great Lakes watersheds, in relation to climate change, land use change, and other socio-economic trends affecting the lakes.

“This project will foster increased cross-sector collaboration and support adaptive decision-making and management in the basin, which is necessary to protect the Great Lakes and its watersheds for future generations,” said Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe. “We are incredibly grateful to RBC for making this important project possible.”

This project is aimed at delivering value to policy-makers and organizations involved in managing the Great Lakes, including government, industry, academia, and NGOs. New and unique data visualization and decision-making tools can help stakeholders better understand the complex factors at play in the watersheds supporting the health of the Great Lakes. The knowledge can then be used to inform adaptation and mitigation strategies in the basin.

“Every day we produce volumes of data, from air quality and monitoring the health of our watersheds, to economic development and urban growth,” said Mark Fisher, president and CEO of CGLR. “By leveraging world-class capabilities in data science and advanced computing in Ontario, we can now integrate and analyse all kinds of data at incredible speeds and generate profound insights and knowledge.”

Phase 1 of the project will be a multi-stakeholder workshop, bringing together leading experts in watershed science and management. Attendees will discuss pressures facing the basin and certain watersheds along Lake Ontario in Canada. The goal will be to effectively incorporate multi-disciplinary perspectives and a broad array of data and knowledge into future Great Lakes watershed planning, management, and protection efforts through the development of Lakewide Action and Management Plans under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.


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