The Great

Population NOAA’s region extends along Providing to serve heavy industry and our with , from to manufacturing, agriculture, electrical power, , encompassing eight states with drinking water and recreation, the lakes directly the Laurentian Great Lakes of North sustain more than 1.5 million jobs, generating as its geographic and cultural $62 billion in annual wages. The region produces center. The states of Minnesota, 27% of the U.S. GDP and 24% of its exports. If , , , , the region was its own country, its economy , , and New York would rank fourth largest in the world behind the together have a total population of more , and Japan. While enduring than 81 million people, with 27 million the legacy of the “” the region is tapping living in 149 coastal counties that stretch its most precious resource, the Great Lakes, into a across 4530 miles of coast. The Great developing “blue” economy. The region is Lakes are a source of drinking water for 30 to 38% of fortune 500 companies and has one of million people who are threatened by the largest concentrations of research universities pollution and concerned with the health of in the world. the ecosystem.

Economy and Culture The Great Lakes are an interconnected waterway beginning from Duluth, Minnesota, extending to the Thousand Islands of New York State, and then continuing on through the St. Lawrence River to the . This system provides transportation for raw materials and finished goods from both the U.S. and overseas. Great Lakes vessels alone transport an average of 163 million tons of cargo, such as , Recreation on Michigan, Grand Haven, MI, and grain, each year. Lake vessels can goods July 30, 2013. Credit: NOAA. three times more efficiently than rail and 10 times more efficiently than trucks, which gives Great Lakes beaches, resort communities and mining, manufacturing and agriculture in the natural areas support a vibrant recreation and region a competitive edge. tourism industry and enhance the quality of life for residents. Over 4 million recreational vessels are registered in the region and people spend nearly $16 billion annually on boating trips and equipment. Many take advantage of the region’s Great Lakes-dependent natural resources including more than 9.2 million anglers, 4.6 million hunters and 23.2 million bird watchers each year. The lakes support a world-class recreational fishery with an estimated 180 species of native fish Freighters line up to pass through the Soo contributing more than $7 billion to the regional Locks. were travelling in convoys with US escorts due to ice cover late in the economy. season. April 18, 2014. Credit: M. Briggs, US Army Corps of Engineers.

1 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 Land Cover Change: 7,144 square miles, or 4%, annex committees including the position of U.S. of the changed from 1996 to co-chair of Annex 9 - Climate Change Impacts 2010. This is equivalent to 1 football field of and additional annex committees addressing change every 2 minutes over those 14 years. lakewide management planning, , and Much of this change is associated with science. Staff also participates on extended harvest and regrowth cycles in timber subcommittees addressing chemicals, nutrients, management activities, but a significant amount of aquatic and . The development also occurred. The majority of this Regional Collaboration Team administers development was in former agricultural areas of NOAA’s participation in this work and will be the counties surrounding , Toledo, leveraging GLRI money to help coordinate these , , , as well as the area activities. between Green Bay and Appleton. across the region experienced a net increase of 68 NOAA in the Great Lakes square miles from 1996 to 2010, reflecting both The Great Lakes region is arguably the most losses of 150 square miles (primarily to collaborative region in the country with a multi- development and open water) and gains of 218 sector effort focused on the restoration and square miles. These gains can be attributed to both protection of the Great Lakes for now and future the recent years of drought and the consequent generations. NOAA actively contributes to this low water levels in the lakes and ponds, as well as joint work with a host of federal, state, municipal, individual areas of restoration (in former tribal and non-governmental partners all driven by agricultural areas). This information was common overarching goals, objectives and action produced, through GRLI funding, by NOAA’s plans developed during the past 40 years. Office for Coastal Management as part of the Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP).

Regional Drivers The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), begun in 2010, has provided more than $1.6 billion to support Great Lakes restoration including more than $125 million to NOAA in its first five years. Administered through the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team, the GLRI supports NOAA mission-focused work in the areas of toxic chemical remediation, habitat restoration, aquatic invasive species, nearshore modeling, Great Lakes MODIS SeaWiFS satellite observation and ecosystem forecasting, and photo. April 13, 1999. Credit: NASA. climate change adaptation related work. Through its Regional Collaboration Team, NOAA The Great Lakes Agreement participates on several regional governance Protocol of 2012 is the updated agreement organizations providing mission-directed between the United States and Canada to restore leadership and valuable products and services. By and protect the physical, chemical and focusing and integrating our capabilities in this biological integrity of the Great Lakes with region we can improve not only our ability to many of its provisions codified in the Clean provide region specific products and services to Water Act. This agreement is the foundation for our constituents, but work in and on the Great many regional priorities and governance Lakes can serve as a test bed for NOAA’s work in structures that exist in the region today. NOAA other . staff serves key roles on several agreement

2 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 NOAA has substantial assets within the region ● Navigation Response Teams addressing the challenges of the Great Lakes and ● Old Woman Creek National Estuarine taking advantage of the opportunities they Research Reserve, Huron, OH present. Assets include the following: ● National Estuarine Research ● Great Lakes Environmental Research Reserve, Superior, WI Laboratory (GLERL), Ann Arbor, MI ● 8 Coastal Zone Management Programs ● National Marine Sanctuary, ● 8 Grant Programs Alpena, MI ● Cooperative Institute on Limnology and ● The North Central River Forecast Center, Ecosystems Research (CILER) Chanhassen, MN, which has NOAA Office ● Cooperative Institute for Meteorological for Coastal Management and NOAA Corps Satellite Studies (CIMSS) personnel as well as aircraft capabilities ● Midwestern Regional Climate Center, ● Advanced Satellite Products Branch, Champaign, IL Madison, WI, which houses NESDIS ● Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), the personnel regional association of the coastal ocean ● Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and observing system, Ann Arbor, MI Assessments Program (NOAA’s Great Lakes RISA), co-located between Ann Regional Collaboration Arbor, MI and East Lansing, MI NOAA’s regional collaboration network works to ● Scientific field stations located at improve cooperation among NOAA’s line offices Alpena and Muskegon, MI and core partners to more effectively address ● 6 research vessels collective regional challenges. It helps NOAA ● 19 Weather integrate, innovate and engage. NOAA’s Great Forecast Lakes Regional Collaboration Team and network Offices is NOAA in the Great Lakes. It creates a ● 3 River Forecast Centers mechanism and forum for people to interact at the ● 3 Offices of Response and Restoration, regional level, invites the creation of new ideas or Chicago, IL; Ann Arbor, MI (co-located at ways to better perform our mission, and develop GLERL); Cleveland, OH new products and services that are responsive to ● NOAA Restoration Center, Ann Arbor, MI the changing economy, emerging natural resource (co-located at GLERL) issues, and political pressure. These activities are ● Great Lakes Marine Debris Program, done under the lens of the broader NOAA Oakridge, OH priorities established by the NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathy Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

NOAA Priority: Providing Information & Services to Make Communities More Resilient Natural and man-made environmental changes continually threaten coastal communities. Their adverse effects have impact on the ecological integrity of the environment and the social and economic activities of both visitors and residents. NOAA has close partnerships with entities in the NOAA’s work is critical for these region, including: communities to cope with changes to the ● State Geodetic Advisors ecosystem. Priorities influencing NOAA

3 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 execution in FY15 include large-scale targeted habitat restoration projects; working with federal, state and local partners to bring about cleanup actions at hazardous waste and oil spill sites; and fostering new and ongoing partnerships to address regional needs. Below are activities representing NOAA’s FY15 execution under this priority in the Great Lakes.

Habitat Restoration: The federal agencies, including NOAA, the Great Lake states and local communities have agreed on a prioritized list of areas for targeted work, which has been approved by OMB and acknowledged by Congress. NOAA in the Great Lakes, led by the NOAA Restoration habitat restoration. July Center (NMFS) and with resources provided by 2010. Credit: NOAA. the GLRI, is integral to this work. NOAA and the the-ground restoration work, and project larger Great Lakes community have dedicated evaluation to inform future restoration efforts. time and financial resources and are engaged in on-the-ground implementation of many different Great Lakes Habitat Blueprint: NOAA selected projects. two sites in the Great Lakes region as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat . Targeted Restoration – NOAA’s habitat Blueprint. Muskegon Lake in Michigan and the restoration work in the Great Lakes region is St. Louis River estuary in Wisconsin and mostly focused on supporting restoration Minnesota were chosen as sites where NOAA will priorities in Areas of Concern (AOC), these are prioritize its agency-wide resources to address areas within the that have habitat challenges. been identified by the US and Canada as severely degraded environmentally. Projects aim . Muskegon Lake, Michigan – Muskegon Lake to increase the health of the Great Lakes is a large, inland coastal lake connected to by improving fish passage, cleaning Michigan and is one of the locations identified up marine debris, restoring coastal wetlands, as an AOC. It provides important nursery and removing invasive species. Since 2007, habitat for Chinook , largemouth and NOAA has restored over 6,000 acres of habitat , , and for fish and wildlife, removed approximately threatened native species, such as the lake 209,250 metric tons of waste and debris, and . Extensive shoreline filling and opened over 780 miles of river for fish passage. pollutant discharges have impacted water quality, contaminated soil and degraded habitat. . Restoration Partnerships – NOAA maintains NOAA and its university partners have ongoing strong working relationships in the Great Lakes field research and monitoring programs in region with a number of non-profit Muskegon Lake to study the impacts of water organizations and governmental entities quality, contaminants and invasive species. including the , Ducks NOAA is also funding engineering and planning Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, state efforts for restoration projects that will address natural resource agencies, and many more. the fish and wildlife habitat restoration targets Through these partnerships, we assist with established by community to delist the restoration project design and engineering, on- Muskegon as an AOC.

4 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 as well as information on natural resources, . St. Louis River Estuary, , weather and currents. Great Lakes Wisconsin/Minnesota – The St. Louis River ERMA helps to illustrate progress in cleaning estuary runs along the border between up contaminated sediment and restoring the Minnesota and Wisconsin and is home to the health of the Great Lakes, both across the basin country’s busiest and largest bulk . and in Areas of Concern. As recognized by its designation as an AOC, the area has a long history of environmental NOAA Engagement in Lakewide degradation and pollution. Discharges from Management: The Great Lakes Water leaking landfills, industry, chemical spills, and Quality Agreement Protocol continues the other sources have contaminated sediments, implementation of the Lakewide Action and water, plants and wildlife in the estuary. Management Plans (LAMPs) for each of the Currently, NOAA is working with partners to Great Lakes. The focus of these remove marine debris from Radio Tower Bay. comprehensive plans is on restoring and NOAA is also providing funding to restore maintaining the chemical, physical and habitat on and to monitor habitat biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin health and aquatic vegetation migration. In this ecosystem. Through GLRI, NOAA conducted Habitat Focus Area, NOAA in the Great Lakes a study to determine how to build capacity will build upon these current efforts and learn and actively participate in LAMP processes more about how climate change will affect the and programs across all five Great Lakes. The estuary. report’s recommendations are enabling NOAA to exercise its expertise and support ERMA Comes to the Great Lakes: NOAA’s the implementation of the LAMPs and their Office of Response and Restoration launched a associated goals, objectives and targets. new online mapping tool for the Great Lakes NOAA participation in the LAMPs is that will give decision makers, resource consistent with NOAA’s Next Generation managers, and environmental responders better Strategic Plan, and the mission, vision and information as they clean up hazardous long term goals of the agency. materials and restore coastal environments. Great Lakes Environmental Response Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs): During summer Management Application (ERMA) features the months, shallow areas of the Great Lakes, most comprehensive collection of particularly the western basin of , environmental contaminant data in the region, experience intense harmful algal blooms. Often these blooms contain toxins, such as , that degrade water quality, create unsafe conditions for aquatic life and humans, and impact , recreation and especially municipal drinking water. GLERL and the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER) are working to determine the factors controlling microcystin production and develop tools for predicting location, intensity and movement of HABs. Using remote sensing, intensive monitoring, and modeling capabilities, NOAA issues and GLERL scientists use trawl nets to sample fish Experimental Lake Erie HAB Bulletin that populations in the mid-depths of , provides a weekly forecast for Microcystis July 2014. Credit: NOAA. blooms in western Lake Erie. GLERL is improving the bulletin through the Lake Erie

5 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 HABs Tracker. coordinator also serves as the NOAA regional lead on coastal planning, creating a seamless Coastal : NOAA’s Coastal Storms point of contact for NOAA’s joint coastal Program began funding projects in the Great planning and energy interests in the region. In Lakes region in 2012. Many efforts are focused on this role, the regional coordinator is using the priority issues identified by local constituents, regional team network to effectively contribute to including the effects of water toxicity on not only the regional CMP process, but also with the aquatic environment, improving shoreline industry and the states through the Great Lakes mapping and management, understanding Wind Collaborative and with other federal behaviors and communicating risks associated agencies and the states through the Great Lakes with dangerous currents and beach hazards, and Off-shore Wind Energy Consortium Partnership. improving observations to predict weather and Recognizing the need for NOAA to support this storm events. In addition to connecting NOAA state-led effort, the regional collaboration team project work on these issues to local constituents has developed a CMP working group with through the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, the participation from OAR, NOS, NMFS, NWS, Coastal Storms Program held a small grants Sea Grant, Great Lakes Observing System, competition which is helping local communities to Cooperative Institute for Limnology and build upon previous work and to enhance storm Ecosystem Research, and the state coastal and hazard resiliency at local levels. management programs. This One NOAA approach of staff and core program partners will achieve clear results of interest to NOAA and allow us to better assess and serve the needs of the states in the region.

Climate Ready Great Lakes Cities: The Regional Team is working in partnership with the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) and GLISA to help accomplish the mutual goals of assisting Great Lakes cities to prepare for and adapt to climate change impacts over time.

This partnership is supporting the development of an online toolbox for municipalities that provides 1) training materials and resources with on-the- ground examples of how cities are to help them identify green infrastructure options for reducing flooding from extreme rainfall events. Building on previous work, this project will develop a resource that can be used by other communities in the region to identify land- use options that can Sampling a in western Lake Erie near the Toledo water intake crib. August 4, both reduce flooding and provide economic 2014. Credit: NOAA. information to help make cost-effective, land-use decisions for the environment and the economy. Integrating National Ocean Policy and Wind Energy Priorities: While the U.S. Coast Guard This project supports NOAA goals and is the federal co-lead on coastal and marine activities in the Great Lakes region by 1) planning (CMP) in the Great Lakes, NOAA is creating a climate literate public that providing a strong support role. The regional understands its vulnerabilities to a changing

6 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 climate and makes informed decisions, and 2) • What do these different choices cost? disseminating the best available climate science so municipalities can identify potential The report provides two case studies that describe impacts and plan for them. Strong linkages how the framework was applied in Toledo, Ohio, will be made between this project work and and Duluth, Minnesota. A Process Guide is being that of the GLSLCI Green CiTTS (Cities developed to help other communities transfer this Transforming Toward Sustainability) program, approach to their watersheds. A visualization tool which showcases the actions of Great Lakes was developed for the Silver Creek watershed in and St. Lawrence cities in moving the entire Toledo. This tool allows for community leaders region toward a sustainable future, and to visualize different flooding scenarios with and provides support to cities to go even further without green infrastructure and the cost of down the path toward sustainability. All flooding damages associated with both scenarios. information generated through this partnership Partners on this project work include but are not will be publicly accessible on the Internet. limited to the following: the Eastern Research Group, the Association of State Floodplain Climate Change Related Flooding and Impacts Managers, the city of Duluth, the city of Toledo, to Coastal Communities: NOAA’s Office for and Sea Grant. For more information visit the Coastal Management is leading an effort to Digital Coast: understand the economic impacts of flooding and how green infrastructure can be used to help mate-change-adaptation-pilot mitigate current and future flooding scenarios. The negative economic effects of flooding from extreme precipitation events—including preparation costs and the expenses related to damages, clean up, and business disruptions—are being experienced throughout the Great Lakes region. This effort assesses the economic benefits of green infrastructure and provides information on a suite of stormwater management practices that can enable communities to reduce flooding by capturing, storing, or absorbing more water from these precipitation events.

This methodology helps communities answer questions such as the following: High waves in Lake Michigan along the Chicago shoreline, October 31, 2014. Credit: L.S. • What is the predicted rainfall in 2035, and Gerstner (Chicago). what impacts may it have on the community? Visualizing Climate Change: Local natural • How much land should be protected, and resource managers, community planners, and where? elected officials have expressed needs for climate • Which other green infrastructure options impact visualization tools to help inform on-the- can help my community reach its flood ground decision making in the Great Lakes storage capacity goals most cost region. In response, NOAA will continue to effectively? develop and validate modeling components that • How can the local government implement contribute directly to calculation of the water and/or reduce barriers to these strategies? supply to the Great Lakes. Additional project work will couple 3-dimensional simulations of • What policies and approaches are feasible both the atmosphere and the Great Lakes, and cost-effective?

7 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 including ice formation and transport. NOAA has third year of the “Impact-Based Warning” also produced an online Lake Level Viewer that project (IBW), expanding from the NOAA Great will accommodate visualization of increased lake Lakes and Central regions into other parts of the level and lowered lake level impact scenarios country. The IBW project aims to improve over time. This collective portfolio of projects agency tornado warnings by using risk-based will leverage regional partnerships developed paradigms and social science concepts to with GLRI funding. improve the quality of warnings. The vast majority of tornado fatalities occur from a small Climate Collaboration: The Great Lakes percentage of tornadoes; more specifically, from Regional Collaboration Team has convened an strong tornadoes with winds speeds well over active working group that will continue to 100 mph. IBW warnings now provide greater actively utilize GLRI funding to develop region- emphasis on these potentially high-impact specific plans for priorities for climate tornadoes and communicate risk in a way that engagement and work to support NOAA’s expresses an urgency that will prompt sheltering climate priority. This working group, utilizing the actions. expertise provided by OAR, NOS, NWS, NMFS and NESDIS, is achieving clear and recognized Great Lakes and Central regional collaboration results for NOAA in the Great Lakes region. team members are playing a role in the development of the IBW project by partnering with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network to NOAA Priority: Evolving NOAA’s National research and evaluate its effectiveness in Weather Service moving another step closer to a Weather Ready Providing timely and accurate weather forecasts Nation. has long been the main goal of NOAA’s Weather Service. However, being able to effectively react Great Lakes Marine Forecasts: The National to that information to save lives and livelihoods Weather Service owes its beginning to the requires that both the general public and those legendary storms of the Great Lakes that have responsible for safety can make fast and smart caused hundreds of ship wrecks. Today, decisions. Thus, NOAA now seeks to build a responsibility for marine weather and water weather-ready nation by improving the country’s services in the Great Lakes is spread across NWS, preparedness to the severe impacts of extreme NOS and OAR, each with varying responsibilities. weather events through enhanced weather and However, overlapping mission responsibilities climate forecasts and creating a nationwide creates potential for inconsistent marine forecasts. network of partners including agencies, Regional Collaboration team members recognized academia, the private sector, and the media. the need to integrate marine forecast services Priorities influencing NOAA execution in FY15 across Line Offices in the Great Lakes. To are severe weather events that occur regularly in accomplish this, the team designated a single set the region, reducing loss of life and property of operational NOAA wind forecasts as the driver from these events, better forecasting, and for all hydrodynamic models. Since the official impact-based decision support services. Below NOAA wind forecast is the responsibility of the are activities representing NOAA’s FY15 NWS/WFO, it was established as the single execution under this priority in the Great Lakes. authoritative source as input for derived hydrodynamic forecasts, such as waves and water Reducing Loss of Life, Property and levels. This allows production of hydrodynamic Disruption from High-impact Weather forecasts that are physically consistent with Events: The NWS has recently made significant official NOAA wind forecasts and physically strides toward meeting societal needs with consistent with each other. This approach is a new respect to mitigating loss of life from high- forecast paradigm within the NOAA marine impact weather events. In 2015, NWS began the modeling community and is now being adopted

8 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 beyond the Great Lakes. USACE, and Environment Canada. Investing in key observational platforms sustains the vital Starting in 2014, NOAA began work on the Next environmental intelligence our citizens and Generation marine modeling system in the Great business rely upon. Priorities influencing NOAA Lakes Region. The Great Lakes serve as an execution in FY15 include enhancing research on excellent laboratory for developing and testing earth systems and the diverse stressors that can new model systems. The Next Generation affect ecosystem function and process through modeling system will be a combined circulation, improved environmental modeling and ecological ice and wave model on an unstructured grid and forecasting. Below are activities representing forced by incorporating climate hazards and NOAA’s FY15 execution under this priority in the impacts into planning, 2) infographics and Great Lakes. visualizations that will assist cities in identifying potential hazards, such as flooding and Great Lakes Water Prediction: NOAA is inundation, and how best to plan for them, and 3) focusing on an earth systems modeling approach funding opportunities for municipalities on a bi- to regional water modeling in the Great Lakes. annual basis. The Great Lakes present an ideal test-bed for this type of modeling. Collaborators work across traditional NOAA hierarchical and traditional geopolitical boundaries and include GLERL, NOS, USACE, regional NWS RFCs, USACE, and Environment Canada

Record Low Water Levels: In response to record low water levels during the winter of 2012-2013, GLERL’s monitoring, analysis, and forecasting of the Great Lakes water budget is improving the understanding of how regional changes in climate and meteorology drive water level fluctuations and how they led to low water levels. GLERL communicated that understanding through a series of public forums and media events (including an appearance on NBC nightly news). Information on water levels is now available through the Great Lakes Water Levels Dashboard, an interactive web-based software tool that allows the general public to view historical water level data and 6- month forecasts over different time scales. ReCON buoy deployment in . May 17, 2014. Credit: NOAA. Great Lakes Observing System Enterprise Architecture: Integrated observations and data NOAA Priority: Investing in Observational collection, model development, and physical Infrastructure and social science research needed to enhance NOAA is focusing on an earth systems modeling understanding of the Earth’s systems are a key approach to regional water modeling in the Great foundation to NOAAs work and mission. The Lakes. The Great Lakes present an ideal test-bed Great Lakes observing system enterprise for this type of modeling. Collaborators work architecture project facilitates coordination of across traditional NOAA hierarchical and observing needs among NOAA line offices traditional geopolitical boundaries and include operating in the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes GLERL, NOS, USACE, regional NWS RFCs, Observing System (regional association of the

9 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015 coastal ocean observing system) and other achieve this, the agency seeks to employ the most federal partners. The enterprise system links dynamic and intelligent workforce possible. existing environmental sensors and monitoring Below are activities representing NOAA’s FY15 efforts, data telemetry infrastructure, data execution under this priority in the Great Lakes. management and communications systems, and environmental models and analytical tools into Tim Davis, NOAA algal bloom expert at GLERL, a unified Great Lakes ecosystem observing was invited to give a key presentation on the system. The system synthesizes the physical, current state of knowledge of on cyanobacterial chemical, and biological data needed to harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes at the effectively study, safeguard, manage, and launching meeting of the Great Lakes to Great sustainably utilize the aquatic Lakes Initiative in Kigoma, resources of the Great Lakes. Tanzania on February 2-4, This work couples 2015. The event was co- observational models, organized by the Lake provides cost effective Tanganyika Authority (LTA) monitoring in the near shore, and the U.S. Office of Special enhances the larger federal Envoy to the Great Lakes and monitoring backbone, and Democratic Republic of Congo. enhances outreach and At the meeting, scientists, education opportunities. academics, and policymakers from the countries surrounding Ecological Forecasting: The GLERL-developed computer model predicts Lake Tanganyika to met with Ecological forecasting is the real-time water levels and currents, to simulate their counterparts from the various contaminant spills in the Huron-Erie prediction of the impacts of Corridor (HEC). The model shows where and North American Great Lakes. the physical, chemical, how quickly potential contaminant spills could This initiative is designed as an biological and human travel. Credit: NOAA. information exchange for induced change on ecosystems and their experts to share their knowledge on issues related components. The Great Lakes provide many to sustainable management of transboundary important ecosystem services making restoration lakes. and protection of this resource paramount to the region. Understanding and predicting changes in For more information about Great Lakes the Great Lakes ecosystem is a unique niche that Regional activities, please contact Felix NOAA can play to inform strategies to conserve Martinez ([email protected], until and manage their natural resources while meeting January 2016) or Jennifer Day the region’s economic, social and environment at [email protected] needs. NOAA’s establishment of an Ecological Forecasting System, which can be integrated on a regional basis, will ensure that this important predictive capability, on a range of time and space scales for the region, addresses pressing ecological issues.

NOAA Priority: Achieving Organizational Excellence NOAA is strongly committed to fulfilling its mission correctly and consistently, so that our customers are served with accurate and timely information that will improve their well-being. To

10 | Page Great lakes Regional Team, May 2015