The Great Lakes Coastal Assembly (The Assembly) has developed goals for a resilient system of Great Lakes coastal wetlands. These include wetlands that:

  • Goal 1: Support a sustainable assemblage of native species, including priority species
  • Goal 2: Support diverse wetland types that are resilient and adaptable to changing conditions
  • Goal 3: Support sustainable economic and social benefits complementary to ecological benefits

As a result:

  • Goal 4: People in the Great Lakes recognize benefits of, and engage in the protection, restoration and conservation of coastal wetlands.

Tracking Progress

Blue Accounting works in partnership with The Assembly to track the development of their vision: a diverse system of Great Lakes coastal wetlands that support native fish, wildlife and plant species as well as our Great Lakes coastal communities.

Blue Accounting measures progress using a variety of ecological metrics, informed by documents including the State of the Great Lakes reports, Great Lakes Biodiversity Conservation Strategies and the Lakewide Action and Management Plans (LAMPs). The Assembly intends to track progress toward socioeconomic goals and metrics, and to coordinate with local collaborative efforts – such as the Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Basin Indicators project or the St. Clair-Detroit River System Initiative to ensure consistency of metrics for tracking progress at local to Great Lakes Basin-wide scales

The Assembly has developed a preliminary set of metrics and is currently tracking metrics for Goal 1 and Goal 2.

A resilient system of Great Lakes coastal wetlands supporting a sustainable assemblage of native fish, wildlife and plant species, including priority species at desired population levels.

Objective 1

Objective 1: Maintain or restore Great Lakes coastal wetlands to improve ecological conditions for wetland breeding bird populations in each Great Lake by 2030 (as calculated and reported in the State of the Great Lakes (SOGL) reports.) 

Specific objectives by lake: 

  • All Lakes: Show an 'Improving' trend. 
  • Lake Superior: Maintain 'Good' status. 
  • Lake Huron: Maintain 'Good' Status. 
  • Lake Michigan: Achieve a 'Good' status.
  • Lake Ontario: Achieve a 'Good' status. 
  • Lake Erie: Achieve 'Fair' status.

Metric 1: Mean wetland breeding bird IEC (index of ecological condition) as reported in SOGL 2017.  

A resilient system of Great Lakes coastal wetlands that is able to function within an extended range of variability, supports diversity of wetland types throughout the region, and adapts to changing climatic and hydrologic conditions.

Objective 1: reach Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) action plan II and III annual coastal wetland acreage target values

Metric 1: total coastal wetland acreage protected, enhanced, or restored by GLRI projects

A resilient system of Great Lakes coastal wetlands with characteristics supporting positive and sustainable economic and social benefits complementary to ecological benefits.

Objectives and metrics for this goal are under development

Great Lakes communities recognize the many benefits of, and engage in the protection, restoration and conservation of coastal wetlands.

Objectives and metrics for this goal are under development

Our Goals and Why They Matter

Why it Matters Slide Show -Coastal

Habitat

Goal 1: Sustainable assemblages of priority species

Wetlands provide habitat for a diverse array of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals, spawning and nursery habitat for fish, nesting and feeding areas for waterfowl, and migratory bird stopover sites.

Source: Great Blue Heron, Detroit River, Michigan © Michael David-Lorne Jordan/David-Lorne Photographic

Ecosystem Services

Goal 2: Diverse and resilient wetland types to ensure that the important services provided by wetlands will be sustained

Wetlands provide a host of ecosystem services, improving water quality, capturing pollutants, reducing erosion and beautifying communities.

Source: Detroit, Michigan © Michael David-Lorne Jordan/David-Lorne Photographic

Fisheries

Goal 3: Sustainable economic and social benefits 

Wetlands support the world-class Great Lakes fishery by providing critical habitat for fish to spawn and grow.

Source: Northern Pike. Photo Credit: © Kletr/Shutterstock

Recreation

Goal 4: Great lakes communities value and support coastal wetlands conversation

Wetlands provide recreational and tourism opportunities for communities, including birding, sport fishing, duck hunting, and boating.

Source: Erie Marsh Preserve, Spring Treasure Hunt 2017. Photo Credit: © Deb Allen