Great Lakes coastal wetlands can be separated into three specific systems based on their dominant hydrologic source and current hydrologic connectivity to the lake. These systems are different than those defined by the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI). NWI defines three systems, Lacustrine, Riverine, and Palustrine.
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) is a bi-national treaty designed to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Waters of the Great Lakes. Lakewide Management Plans (LAMPs) result from Annex 2 of the 2012 GLWQA to contribute to the achievement of the and Specific Objective of this Agreement by assessing the status of each Great Lake, and by addressing environmental stressors that adversely affect the Waters of the Great Lakes which are best addressed on a lakewide scale through an ecosystem approach.
Western Lake Erie is the shallowest, warmest and most biodiverse region in the Great Lakes. Though highly valued for its diversity, world-renowned fishing and migratory bird- watching opportunities, long-term conservation efforts are challenged by coastal development, impaired hydrologic connectivity, phosphorus inputs, and invasive species. This vision document outlines locations in the Western Lake Erie basin where focused conservation investments can optimize benefits to people and nature.
Working with partners, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service uses a range of conservation tools to "recover" endangered and threatened species to ensure that they are secure members of their ecosystems. These tools include restoring and acquiring habitat, removing introduced animal predators or invasive plant species, conducting surveys, monitoring individual populations, and breeding species in captivity and releasing them into their historic range.
eCoastal Tools is a user-friendly toolbox that provides an interface for retrieving and analyzing data for coastal engineering projects. The eCoastal ArcMap toolbars include the following product features: Survey Tools, Profile Loader, and Sediment Budget Analysis System.
The ENOW Explorer tool streamlines the task of obtaining and comparing economic data, both county and national, for the six sectors dependent on the ocean and Great Lakes: living resources, marine construction, marine transportation, offshore mineral resources, ship and boat building, and tourism and recreation. Users can discover which sectors are the largest in various parts of the county, which sectors are growing and declining, and which account for the most jobs, wages, and gross domestic product.
Recreational trails can also have a significant impact on the local economy. Trails can help attract and support tourism and new business opportunities. In addition, local residents often spend money on trail-related activities and related businesses. The Blue Water Trail Towns Master Plan outlines a plan for blue and green trails and serves as a guide for development of trail towns along Michigan's thumb coast.
The DNR uses Management Plans to define a long-range planning and management strategy for State Park and Recreation Areas that reflects the DNR and Park and Recreation Division's mission statements. Management planning expands the concept of a master plan by putting greater emphasis on natural and cultural resources, educational opportunities, and operating decisions at each location.
The Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan provides a description of the watershed (including such topics as bodies of water, population, land use, municipalities, and recreational activities), summarizes each of the nine subwatersheds to Grand Traverse Bay, and outlines current water quality conditions in the bay. Within the two-year development phase of the protection plan, water quality threats were identified and efforts to address these issues were researched, developed, and prioritized.