Hundreds of projects are funded with the goal of protecting, restoring or enhancing Great Lakes coastal wetlands.  These investments are critical to supporting on-the-ground efforts to improve the extent, diversity and resiliency of coastal wetlands.  But are these investments in coastal wetlands reaching enough area?  Can funding be allocated more efficiently to ensure maximum impact? 

This metric is a snapshot of the acreage (area) of coastal wetlands that are currently in projects that will protect, restore or enhance wetlands, visible by state, lake, and other geographic filters.

What is the current status?

At this time we are measuring progress against the annual targets published by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).  81% of the 2017 GRLI target for acreage was reached. 

What is our objective?

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

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

Our objective addresses our goal because Great Lakes coastal wetlands are most self-sustaining and are better able to provide benefits to fish, wildlife, and people when wetland extent and diversity are at or close to their natural range of variability across a diversity of regions.

GLRI Action Plan II Annual Targets


This table shows the number of acres of Great Lakes coastal wetlands protected, restored, and enhanced by GLRI funded projects. When finalized by the EPA, acreage targets by year will be published for GLRI Action Plan III.

How does this metric relate to diverse & resilient wetlands?


  • Investors can see at a glance where resources are allocated
  • The total acreage undergoing these projects provides context for decisionmakers
  • Measuring both area and investment in dollars provides a baseline for assessing progress towards a resilient system of wetlands across the Great Lakes basin.


Further Details on This Goal

The Coastal Assembly's Goal 2 for Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands is to support diverse wetland types that are resilient and adaptable to changing conditions, [resulting in] 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.

Goal 2 was developed by the Coastal Assembly as the second of four high-level goals for Great Lakes coastal wetlands, and reflects the clear need to preserve coastal wetlands to the greatest extent possible, which will allow for the best potential for diversity and resiliency in the respective coastal ecosystems surrounding the Great lakes.  The Assembly envisions coastal landscapes that support the structure and natural processes essential for sustaining healthy species populations and resilient natural communities, and for providing benefits to human society.

Tracking coastal wetland area is important for assessing the condition of wetland ecosystems across the Great Lakes basin. More than 50% of the historical range of coastal wetlands has been lost. Sizable wetland areas across a diversity of regions within the Great Lakes basin are critical for breeding and migrating birds, spawning and nursery habitats for fish, and other ecosystem services.

This metric highlights the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to set coastal wetlands acreage goals and measure progress towards achieving them through GLRI projects.

Total coastal wetland acreage protected, enhanced, or restored by GLRI projects is compared to GLRI Action Plan target values, which are published annually for the preceding year by the U.S. EPA in a report to the U.S. Congress.


  • GLRI Action Plan 1’s (FY 10-14) measurement of protected, restored and enhanced coastal wetlands acres includes wetland-associated uplands for both progress and target values.
  • GLRI’s Action Plan 2’s (FY 15-19) measurement of protected, restored and enhanced coastal wetlands acres only includes coastal wetlands and does not include wetland-associated uplands for both progress and target values.
  • Both GLRI’s annual acreage values and target values are measured cumulatively.
  • GLRI individual project acreage was not provided by EPA. It was identified by GLRI publicly available project descriptions and/or by funding recipients.
  • The Blue Accounting coastal wetlands individual project acreage includes wetland-associated uplands since individual coastal wetlands project acreage is not available currently.
  • Fluctuating water levels can affect wetland size and extent
  • Not all coastal wetlands project data is publicly available