Will New Maps Bring Higher-Resolution to Great Lakes Restoration Efforts?

The CFL’s Pete McIntyre is involved in a new Great Lakes mapping effort that may help guide future restoration projects. Details below:

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues have created exceptionally detailed maps of five Great Lakes recreational activities and say the information can be used to help prioritize restoration projects.

Combinations of recreational use and cumulative stress for Great Lakes counties. Images courtesy: Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping (GLEAM) project
Combinations of recreational use and cumulative stress for Great Lakes counties. Images courtesy: Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping (GLEAM) project

They mapped places used for sport fishing, recreational boating, birding, beach use and park visits for all five Great Lakes and included sites in both the United States and Canada. The recreational sites were then compared to the research team’s previously published “threat maps,” which show the location of 34 Great Lakes environmental stressors.
Taken together, the maps showing intensity of recreational use as well as environmental stress provide federal and regional officials with an unprecedented scientific foundation upon which to sustainably manage the Great Lakes, where current restoration efforts exceed $1.5 billion, the researchers conclude.
“Restoration priorities are typically based on the evidence for environmental degradation without explicitly accounting for the benefits people receive from ecosystems, which include recreational opportunities,” said lead researcher David Allan, professor emeritus of aquatic sciences at the U-M School of Natural Resources and Environment. Keep reading –>

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