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Great Lakes Action Agenda

Update: Get involved by attending a Great Lakes Work Group, see 'Work Groups' below for more information.

What is the Great Lakes Action Agenda?

The interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (73 page PDF, 3.04 MB) is a guide to promote successful ecosystem-based management through existing programs and partnerships involving state and federal agencies, municipalities, academic institutions, non-profits, and other stakeholders in New York's Great Lakes basin. The action agenda identifies pressing problems and actions needed to protect natural resources, environmental quality and resilient communities. It helps focus federal and state programs on key challenges faced by this region of the state. Most importantly, it is a tool that agencies, communities and organizations can use to help plan, fund and track projects that help achieve our shared vision for the conservation, restoration and protection of New York's Great Lakes basin.

Status of the Great Lakes Action Agenda

The action agenda is being released as an "interim" document, in recognition of key federal and state initiatives that are currently undergoing significant revisions and refinement, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan and the U.S./Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, among others. Therefore, this will be a working document at this time, to best accommodate new priorities and be open to new partners as we move forward with implementation.

A Great Lakes Action Agenda progress update was presented via webinar on December 16. 2014. The presentation slides may be viewed by clicking on the following link: New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda Stakeholder Presentation (PDF, 2.28 MB).

Work Groups

DEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a first-of-its-kind basinwide partnership to advance key priorities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). The focus of these interactive work group meetings will be to identify watershed challenges and specific opportunities to collaboratively accomplish GLAA projects.

All NYS Great Lakes stakeholders are invited to participate - including environmental organizations, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, local government, individuals and other diverse stakeholder groups (business, health, recreation, planning, etc).

Four sub basin work groups will provide a unique opportunity to connect, coordinate and collaborate with other groups and agencies working locally and basinwide.

Please join us for one or more of the following meetings:

Lake Erie Work Group
Wednesday, Dec 2nd
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve
93 Honorine Drive
Depew, NY 14043

SW Lake Ontario Work Group
Thursday, Dec 3rd
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Braddock Bay Lodge
199 East Manitou Rd.
Rochester, NY 14612

NE Lake Ontario Work Group
Monday, Dec 14th
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Jefferson County
203 North Hamilton St.
Watertown, NY 13601

SE Lake Ontario Work Group
Tuesday, Dec 15th
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Onondaga Lake Visitors Center
I 690 Exit 7
Syracuse (Geddes), NY 13209

Please let us know if you can make it! RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov. Please indicate which work group meeting you'll be attending.
Questions or comments?

  • Lake Erie & SW Lake Ontario Work Groups: Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070
  • SE & NE Lake Ontario Work Groups: Emily Sheridan, Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov, 315-785-2382

Goals of the Great Lakes Action Agenda

The action agenda brings together new priorities, as well as existing environmental, social and economic goals previously identified for New York's Great Lakes region, using an ecosystem-based management approach. The action agenda's ten priority goals guide conservation, restoration and protection efforts in New York's Great Lakes basin.

  1. Virtually eliminate discharges of persistent toxic substances
  2. Control sediment, nutrient and pathogen releases
  3. Accelerate the delisting of New York's Areas of Concern
  4. Combat invasive species
  5. Conserve and restore fish and wildlife
  6. Conserve Great Lakes water supplies
  7. Enhance community resiliency and ecosystem integrity
  8. Promote smart growth, redevelopment and adaptive reuse
  9. Enhance recreation and tourism opportunities
  10. Plan for energy development

Achieving the goals of the Great Lakes Action Agenda

DEC's Great Lakes Watershed Program reports annually on the work of organizations across New York's Great Lakes basin to meet the ten goals of the action agenda.