The purpose of this project is to identify land use indicators and tipping points in Great Lakes nearshore areas that can be used to develop policies, ordnances and land protection programs, and identify restoration priorities needed to sustain Great Lakes ecosystems. In this third year of the project, we describe tasks and deliverables designed to expand and synthesize the modeling capabilities and analyses to other watersheds that were developed and applied in the Muskegon River and Saginaw Bay during years one and two of the project. Specifically, we will expand the geographic scope of the project to include other watersheds including Grand Traverse Bay (recreational), the Grand River (mostly urban), St. Joseph (traditional row crop) and Green Bay (pasture/dairy), WI watersheds. Staff of Indiana-Illinois Sea Grant will convene federal and university scientists and facilitate a process necessary to develop land use change and agricultural land indicators (based on our and related research) that can be used in the ongoing SOLEC process. The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College program will work with sustainable coastal community development specialists in the Great Lakes Sea Grant network to develop and deliver decision making products based on this research that empowers Great Lakes communities to make land use decisions that protect or restore water and habitat components necessary to sustain Great Lakes ecosystems. Research staff at NOAA-GLERL will oversee the project and provide critical input on regional hydrology and fisheries biology.
Identify Land Use Indicators and Tipping Points that Threaten Great Lakes Ecosystems