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Great Lakes Action Agenda

NY Great Lakes information and resources are now available through the NY Great Lakes Clearinghouse. A new annual progress report is 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).

Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meetings

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:

  • Share program updates
  • Share progress of sub basin work plan implementation*
  • Develop a collective understanding of EBM and how it is being demonstrated through pilot project implementation
  • Discuss current status, needs, and next steps for advancing EBM pilot projects

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

GLAA Work Group Meetings for 2017:

Lake Erie
November 28th - 1 to 4pm
Beaver Meadow Audubon Center
1610 Welch Road
North Java, NY 14113

South West Lake Ontario
November 29th - 9am to 12pm
Black Creek Park, Sunnyside Lodge
3835 Union St, North Chili, NY 14514

North East Lake Ontario
December 6th - 10am to 2pm
Gouverneur Community Center
4673 NY-58, Gouverneur, NY 13642

South East Lake Ontario
December 7th - 10am to 2pm
Huron Town Hall
10880 Lummisville Road
Wolcott, NY 14590


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).

Please let us know if you can make it! RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. Please indicate which work group meeting you'll be attending.

*Work plans and past meeting minutes are available online by joining the Great Lakes Clean Communities network Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA NY) group (Link leaves DEC's website)

Questions or comments?

Great Lakes Research Consortium Small Grants Program 2018

The Great Lakes Research Consortium, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council's Small Grants Program RFP is anticipated to be announced shortly. This small grants program provides seed funding for new, cooperative projects that improve our understanding of, and/or management of, New York's Great Lakes basin. The program supports collaborative, ecosystem based management projects and grant awards can be used for basic or applied research, project planning, as seed money for pilot projects that will lead to larger projects, or to support small-scale projects consistent with the research priorities of NY's Great Lakes Action Agenda. The maximum amount for an individual grant is $25,000. Projects asking for less than the maximum are encouraged. The money for this program comes from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund's (NYSEPF) Ocean-Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act (OGLECA) programs. These are New York State-appropriated funds subject to all applicable state rules and regulations. For more information go to the Great Lakes Research Consortium (leaves DEC website).

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.