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Great Lakes Action Agenda

NY Great Lakes information and resources are now available through the NY Great Lakes Clearinghouse. The new biennial newsletter is also available, highlighting collaborative efforts to implement the Great Lakes Action Agenda.

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).

Save the Dates!

DEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include:

  • Introduce new online collaboration tool and upcoming webinar.
  • Develop a collective understanding of EBM and how it is being applied locally.
  • Share progress on achieving goals of GLAA/sub-basin work plans.
  • Engage stakeholders in identifying work plan pilot project(s) for implementation.

Four sub basin work groups 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
October 19th, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Woodlawn State Park Lodge
3580 Lakeshore Road
Blasdell, NY 14219

SW Lake Ontario Work Group
October 20th, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Hansen Nature Center
Tinker Nature Park
1525 Calkins Road
Pittsford, NY 14534

NE Lake Ontario Work Group
October 25th, 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Keewaydin State Park Marina Pavilion
45165 New York 12
Alexandria Bay, NY 13607

SE Lake Ontario Work Group
October 26th, 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Fair Haven Beach State Park Sabin Hall
14985 State Park Road
Sterling, NY 13156

All NYS Great Lakes stakeholders are invited to participate - including environmental orgs, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, local government, individuals and other diverse stakeholder groups (business, health, recreation, planning, etc). Please let us know if you can make it! RSVP to by October 14th. Please indicate which work group meeting you'll be attending.

Questions or comments?
Lake Erie & SW Lake Ontario Work Groups: Shannon Dougherty,, 716-851-7070

SE & NE Lake Ontario Work Groups: Emily Sheridan,, 315-785-2382

New York's Great Lakes Clearinghouse Now Available

New York Sea Grant and DEC have launched a website that will serve as an information clearinghouse (link leaves DEC's website) and act as a portal through which users can access specific resources related to grant funding, research projects, and the priorities of New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda.

NY Great Lakes Riparian Restoration Opportunity Assessment

New York Natural Heritage Program of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and DEC's Great Lakes watershed program will be developed landscape assessment products that will assist DEC and other stakeholder organizations to strategically identify and prioritize sites for implementation of DEC's Trees for Tribs program and other riparian restoration and protection efforts within New York's Great Lakes basin. Planning tools and accompanying maps are publicly accessible resources designed for use by stakeholders to identify high priority stream reaches for water quality improvements, habitat enhancement and connectivity, streambank resiliency, and riparian protection. Please see the New York Natural Heritage Program website for more information about this program. (Link leaves DEC's website

A webinar was held on April 14th to present on the products and demonstrate their use. The webinar for this event was recorded and can be accessed. (Link opens up WebEx Network Player, it may take a minute to open)

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.