Through the Aquatic Invasive Species Annex of the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the United States and Canada have committed to “… contribute to the achievement of the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement. Through this Annex the Parties shall establish a binational strategy to prevent the introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), to control or reduce the spread of existing AIS, and to eradicate, where feasible, existing AIS within the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.”
The Governments of Canada and the United States are pleased to release the 2019 State of the Great Lakes Highlights Report, which provides an overview of the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Overall, Great Lakes water quality is assessed as “fair and unchanging.” While progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes has occurred, including the reduction of toxic chemicals, challenges cited in the report include invasive species and excess nutrients that contribute to toxic and nuisance algae.
In 2009, the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation initiated the formation of the Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative, in conjunction with the International Joint Commission, to bring together industry and state and federal regulators on the issue of ballast water and invasive species in the region. One of the primary goals of the Collaborative is to share relevant, useful, and accurate information and foster better communication and collaboration among the key stakeholders engaged in the effort to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species.
The purpose of the Great Lakes Hydrilla Collaborative (Collaborative) is to facilitate cooperation and the transfer of knowledge about this highly invasive aquatic plant amongst stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes. The Collaborative will connect the stakeholder community, share advances in science and management, and serve as the primary online resource center for hydrilla-related information.
The Invasive Mussel Collaborative was established to advance scientifically sound technology for invasive dreissenid mussel control to produce measurable ecological and economic benefits. The Collaborative provides a framework for communication and coordination, and works to identify the needs and goals of resource managers, prioritize the supporting science, and align science and management goals into a common agenda.
This report is intended to help guide the Blue Accounting program as it initiates collaboratives to support its work in the Great Lakes region. It can also serve as a general resource for other individuals or groups who are considering forming a collaborative or are actively engaged in one, and is intended to build on and support the successful work of collaboratives currently at work in the Great Lakes. The information presented here was informed by those individuals already involved in Great Lakes regional collaboratives, as well as extensive literature and resource research.
The Regional Coastal Resilience Grants program supports regional approaches to activities that build resilience of coastal regions, communities, and economic sectors to the negative impacts from extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.
The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC) is a regional partnership established to improve communication and collaboration and lead to more coordinated, efficient, and strategic approaches to non-native Phragmites management, restoration, and research across the Great Lakes basin in both the United States and Canada.