Coasts are where land, water and people meet. The coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes are key economic drivers and are essential to ensuring high water quality for fish, wildlife and people throughout the Great Lakes Basin. But over the past several decades, the Great Lakes have lost over two-thirds of its wetlands. Restoration and protection of these valuable resources are vital to improving the health of the Great Lakes.
Blue Accounting is helping the Great Lakes Coastal Conservation Working Group, coordinated through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative, increase the efficiency of regional coastal conservation and resource management. The Working Group is identifying opportunities for coastal wetland conservation in Saginaw Bay and the Western Lake Erie Basin by identifying knowledge gaps, investing in decision-making tools, developing ecosystem service metrics and monitoring programs to support restoration and working to incentivize action at all levels. The Blue Accounting team will support efforts to set regional coastal wetland protection and conservation goals and habitat and water quality metrics, while also providing an online system to track progress and share knowledge.