Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced today the launch of a new online Great Lakes Restoration Database (GLRD), available at habitat.glc.org. The site showcases, in one easy-to-access location, projects implemented under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration Focus Area.
The GLRI is the largest federal investment in Great Lakes restoration and conservation in two decades for habitat and wildlife restoration and protection across the eight-state Great Lakes region. The new searchable database of habitat projects is aimed at increasing awareness and improving communication on accomplishments in this important component of the restoration program. According to Heather Braun, project manager at the Great Lakes Commission, this tool is designed to promote this good work, improve communication, and showcase for elected officials and citizens how their tax dollars are being put to work under the GLRI.
“In the first three years of the GLRI, over $220 million has been invested on fish and wildlife habitat protection,” Braun says. “There was a need to provide more detailed information on its goals, objectives, locations and recipient organizations. The new website is intended to be dynamic and we encourage grant recipients to contact us to ensure projects are accurately reflected.”
The GLRD includes projects funded under the GLRI’s Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration Focus Area in fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012. It will be updated with this year’s projects when the information becomes available. The website provides project descriptions, objectives, habitat restoration metrics, and contact information for recipient organizations, formatted as printable fact sheets. It also provides an interactive map to assist with project location, allowing users to search by keyword, state, funding agency, and one or more habitat metrics.
The GLRD was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and created by the Great Lakes Commission with assistance from a network of federal, state and local agency partners. Currently, the database includes only projects funded under the GLRI focus area for Habitat and Wildlife. Other focus areas may also support habitat-related projects (such as removal of aquatic invasive species or restoration of degraded habitat in Areas of Concern) but are not reflected in the database at this time.
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Kenneth G. Johnson, water division administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at www.glc.org.