Regional Goals for the Great Lakes

Through Blue Accounting, experts collaborate to track progress toward shared goals for key issues affecting the Great Lakes. Below is what we are currently tracking for Indiana.

Reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the western and central basins of Lake Erie by 40 percent (from 2008 levels)
Prevent the introduction of new aquatic invasive species

Progress is reported by metric

Detect and respond to new introduction of aquatic invasive species

in development

Control established aquatic invasive species to reduce negative impacts

in development

Additional Information about Indiana

Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline is small but powerful, as the state has one of the most robust maritime economies in the country. The state’s 43 miles of shoreline are responsible for producing 43 percent of U.S. business revenues generated by Great Lakes shipping and over 25 percent of the country’s steel. As the largest steel-producing state, Indiana relies on Great Lakes shipping for delivery of vital raw materials that fuel steel mills at East Chicago, Gary and Burns Harbor. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is a state-run deepwater port that is a leader in handling ocean carriers, 1,000-foot lake vessels and inland river barges.

The Great Lakes maritime shipping industry sustains over 66,000 jobs for Indiana residents and the state’s Great Lakes shipping terminals handle roughly 30 million tons of cargo each year. Additionally, Lake Michigan drives a recreational boating industry that contributes $2 billion to Indiana’s economy each year. A vibrant sport fishing industry accounts for an annual value of over $1 billion. The Indiana Dunes parks and beaches attract roughly 1.8 million visitors each year.

Groundwater level monitoring within the Great Lakes basin

There are thirteen stations that measure groundwater levels within Indiana’s portion of the Great Lakes basin. The information collected is helpful for determining how groundwater levels fluctuate due to seasonal conditions, precipitation cycles, drought and flood events, and water use. Groundwater level data is also useful for water supply planning and management studies where increasing water demand is anticipated.

Ten of the thirteen stations are included in the Indiana Volunteer Groundwater Monitoring Network (VMN). This unique partnership between the United States Geological Survey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and numerous private-sector and municipal partners provides quality-assured data and enhances water resources monitoring throughout Indiana. More information regarding the VMN can be found here: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/ohio-kentucky-indiana-water-science-center/science/indiana-volunteer-groundwater-monitoring.

To view groundwater level data and information within the Great Lakes basin, please visit any of the following monitoring stations:

What we do

Blue Accounting is an information service to track the region’s progress toward shared goals for the Great Lakes. Maintained by the Great Lakes Commission, the information developed by Blue Accounting helps elected officials make sure that policies and programs are effective at protecting the largest fresh surface water system on earth.

What we measure

The Great Lakes Commission’s Blue Accounting team works with experts to identify goals and methods to track progress on key Great Lakes issues. Currently, Blue Accounting is tracking progress on protecting the region from aquatic invasive species and keeping phosphorus out of Lake Erie.