The Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth and serve as an important source of drinking water, transportation, power, and recreational opportunities for the United States and Canada. They also support an abundant commercial and recreational fishery, are crucial for agriculture, and are essential to the economic vitality of the region. The Great Lakes support a wealth of biological diversity, including over 200 globally rare plants and animals and more than 40 species that are found nowhere else in the world. However, more than a century of environmental degradation has taken a substantial toll on the Great Lakes. To stimulate and promote the goal of a healthy Great Lakes region, President Obama and Congress created the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in 2009. The GLRI is an interagency collaboration that seeks to address the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The GLRI is composed of five focus areas that address these issues:
As of August 2013, the GLRI had funded more than 1,500 projects and programs of the highest priority to meet immediate cleanup, restoration, and protection needs. These projects use scientific analyses as the basis for identifying the restoration needs and priorities for the GLRI. Results from the science, monitoring, and other on-the-ground actions by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provide the scientific information needed to help guide the Great Lakes restoration efforts. This document highlights a selection of USGS projects for each of the five focus areas through 2013, demonstrating the importance of science for restoration success. Additional information for these and other USGS projects that are important for Great Lakes restoration is available at http://cida.usgs.gov/glri/glri-catalog/.
First posted October 2, 2014
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U.S. Geological Survey, 2014, Great Lakes restoration success through science—U.S. Geological Survey accomplishments 2010 through 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1404, 58 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/cir1404.
ISSN 1067–084X (print)
ISSN 2330–5703 (online)
Highlights—Cleaning Up Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern
Highlights—Preventing and Controlling Invasive Species
Highlights—Promoting Nearshore Health
Highlights—Protecting and Restoring Habitat and Wildlife
Highlights—Tracking Progress and Working with Partners
The Future of Communicating Science for GLRI