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Development of Environmental Indicators of Condition, Integrity, and Sustainability in the Coastal Regions of the US Great Lakes Basin

Project Abstracts

Gerald J. Niemi, Richard P. Axler, JoAnn M. Hanowski, George E. Host, Robert W. Howe, Lucinda B. Johnson, Carol A. Johnston, John C. Kingston, Ronald R. Regal, Carl Richards, Deborah L. Swackhamer

Center for Water and the Environment, Natural Resources Research Institute; University of Minnesota Duluth; Minnesota Sea Grant College Program; University of Minnesota Twin Cities; University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

We have initiated a cooperative project consisting of eight universities and U.S.E.P.A. ORD, primarily the Mid-continent Ecology Division, to identify, evaluate, and recommend a portfolio of multi-scaled environmental indicators relevant to the coastal regions of the U.S. Great Lakes basin. Our major question is "what environmental indicators will most efficiently, economically, and effectively measure the condition, integrity, and long-term sustainability of the basin." Our objectives are: 1) identify environmental indicators that define the condition, integrity, and change of the ecosystems within the Great Lakes basin; 2) test these indicators with a rigorous combination of existing data and field data to link stressors with environmental responses; and 3) recommend a suite of hierarchically-structured indicators to guide managers toward informed management strategies.

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