Why Blue Accounting

The future of the Great Lakes region hinges on effectively leveraging and sustaining our primary asset – the world’s largest freshwater system. Hundreds of different entities – across eight states and two provinces – currently invest billions of dollars in restoring and maintaining the Great Lakes, but we don’t have a way to measure the effectiveness of these efforts to protect ecosystems, safeguard human health and bolster the economy.

In 2013, the Great Lakes governors and the premier of Ontario called for a smarter and more comprehensive approach to monitoring our Great Lakes water resources. Their resolution led to the creation of Blue Accounting, a new initiative and online platform that will provide cutting-edge information services about the Great Lakes never before available in one place. This data-driven initiative will help our leaders manage the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem in a more collaborative, effective and holistic manner.

The Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy have entered into a partnership to lead the effort and are receiving broad support from across the basin, including a cornerstone grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and additional support from the Dow Family Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and the Joyce Foundation.

The Blue Accounting information system will combine and improve the Great Lakes Commission’s trusted Great Lake Information Network and the Nature Conservancy’s innovative Great Lakes Inform platform, and build upon both organizations’ legacies of bringing together leaders to solve the most pressing problems facing the basin.

Photo credit: Header: Peninsula State Park, Ephraim, Wisconsin ©flickr/Jim Bauer.