News from the Great Lakes Commission  |  January 2019  |  View this email online 

Blue Accounting launches new tools for aquatic invasive species surveillance 

The Blue Accounting initiative recently launched a new suite of web-based resources and tools to support early detection of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes. Blue Accounting worked with Great Lakes state agencies to develop a framework that creates a species watch list, identifies priority locations for surveillance and provides guidance for monitoring protocols.

Supporting aquatic invasive species management is just one focus of Blue Accounting. Other focus areas include coastal wetlands, maritime transportation, phosphorus control, and source water protection. You can find information on all the issues at

Blue Accounting tools

New video highlights Invasive Mussel Collaborative's new strategy

The Invasive Mussel Collaborative recently released a new video highlighting its new strategy to reduce invasive mussels and their negative impacts. The Strategy to Advance Management of Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels is intended to drive investments, policy, and research around invasive mussels across the Great Lakes region and beyond.

For more information on the collaborative and its work, click here.

Invasive Mussel Collaborative

Congress passes Soo Locks authorization and funding for other Great Lakes priorities

Late in 2018, Congress passed critical water resources legislation that contained key Great Lakes provisions, including authorization for a new large lock at the Soo Locks complex.

The legislation – formally titled America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 – also includes provisions that will support states and local communities in repairing, maintaining and upgrading wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure, consistent with the GLC’s 2017 Joint Action Plan for Clean Water Infrastructure and Services.

Blue Accounting convenes binational advisors to help track progress in Lake Erie

The Blue Accounting initiative recently introduced a newly formed advisory group for ErieStat, a website designed to track progress toward the binational goal of reducing phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40%. 

Since the launch of ErieStat in 2016, it has been guided by representatives of the Great Lakes states and provinces, the U.S. and Canadian federal governments, and research institutions. The new group brings other organizations with valuable perspectives to the table. 

In June 2018, ErieStat began presenting water quality data for select river systems that drain to Lake Erie, supporting the U.S. and Canada in achieving goals set forth in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, as well as the GLC’s member states and provinces as they track progress toward phosphorus reduction targets. In 2019, ErieStat will begin tracking investments to reduce phosphorous pollution.


Apply for a grant to support volunteer efforts to clean Michigan's waters

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and GLC have made available $25,000 in small grants to support local efforts to clean up Michigan rivers, streams, and creeks.

The grant application package is available online. The deadline to apply is February 11, with final decisions anticipated in May.

Great Lakes priorities included in Farm Bill, signed into law

The bipartisan farm bill passed by Congress and signed into law in December included many Great Lakes priorities that the GLC and a coalition of  agriculture, water utility and conservation organizations called for in a joint statement earlier this year.

The new legislation increases funding and implements policy reforms to improve working lands, conservation easements, habitat restoration, and invasive species control programs. The bill promotes successful water quality protections, increases agricultural productivity and conserves valuable wildlife habitat, demonstrates conservation success, improves research, and supports state certification programs.

Farm Bill

Upcoming events

January 23: HABs Collaboratory Webinar: Learning about the Great Lakes Observing System
The Great Lakes HABs Collaboratory will be hosting a webinar featuring the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), highlighting GLOS initiatives and providing information on how researchers can share data through GLOS.

January 30-February 1: 29th Annual No-Spills Conference
The No-Spills Conference is a premier environmental and emergency response event focused on preventing hazardous material spills into the Great Lakes and its tributaries.

February 5-6: Great Lakes Waterways Conference
Join maritime industry leaders in the Great Lakes at the 2019 annual Great Lakes Waterways Conference as they come together to address the industry's most pressing challenges while exploring its most exciting future opportunities. 

March 7: 2019 Great Lakes Day Congressional Breakfast
Hosted by the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the Great Lakes Day Congressional Breakfast will feature dialogue on Great Lakes priorities by regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies.

May 6-8: Great Lakes Economic Forum
Join GLEF19 to network with decision-makers, learn from business leaders and experts, and help improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the binational economic region.

June 10-14IAGLR's 62nd annual Conference on Great Lakes Research
Researchers from around the world will gather in Brockport, New York, on the shores of the Erie Canal for IAGLR's 62nd annual Conference on Great Lakes Research.

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