The Great Lakes Coastal Assembly, formerly the Coastal Conservation Working Group under the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative, is the collaborative group behind Blue Accounting’s Coastal Wetlands issue. The Assembly provides a coordinated effort to:

  • Identify shared conservation goals and objectives for restoring and protecting coastal wetlands
  • Invest in data and knowledge to fill gaps, and tools to better inform decisions
  • Support and develop strategies that incentivize action and provide leadership towards attaining objectives

The Assembly provides their collective expertise to set goals, select metrics, identify strategies and work with key data providers to put together the information that is published by Blue Accounting. This coordination and collaboration allows us to present the best possible picture of this issue across the Great Lakes basin, as told by the people who are most involved.

Great Lakes Coastal Assembly ("The Assembly") group photo

Assembly members at the 2019 spring meeting in Marquette, MI. ©Shawn Nowicki/USFW. Click hear to learn more about the history of the Coastal Wetlands Blue Accounting issue.

Who's Involved

The Great Lakes Coastal Assembly is a cross-agency team working together to conserve and restore lands and waters in the critically important coastal zones of the Great Lakes. Assembly members include:

  • Bay Mills Indian Community
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Environment & Climate Change Canada
  • Great Lakes Commission
  • Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Illinois State Geological Survey
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • National Audubon
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • New York Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Ohio Lake Erie Commission
  • Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • United States Geological Survey
  • University of Michigan
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Where We Work

The Assembly is currently piloting collaborative landscape conservation design and producing on-the-ground results for coastal wetlands from Saginaw Bay to Sandusky Bay in western Lake Erie.

  • This area was selected as an initial focal area because the lake plains adjacent to the bays have low elevation and high coastal wetland restoration potential. They once supported expansive coastal wetlands but have been modified over time for agriculture and expanding urban areas.

Extensive data has been gathered in this pilot area, and new decision support tools have been developed.

  • Guided by these tools, and with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Assembly can focus on-the-ground efforts to selected projects that lead to maximum, cost-effective impact.
  • The Assembly is working to expand its efforts to the entire Great Lakes Basin and has recently added Canadian members. As the Assembly grows, the coastal wetlands information on Blue Accounting will grow with it.


map of western lake erie to sandusky bay

Saginaw Bay to Western Lake Erie is the pilot area for coastal wetlands landscape conservation design and lies in the heart of the GLCA region.