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Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council

woman fishing from edge of boat
A SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry graduate student
collects fish to determine health and exposure to mercury.
Credit: Jonathan White

The Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council (GLBAC) is a statutory body that was created in 1988 to assist New York State in its effort to protect the environmental, social and economic health of the Great Lakes region. The Council advises the Governor and DEC's Commissioner regarding New York's role in regional, federal, and international water quality issues, and functions as a link between the government and the public.

Council Membership

Diverse statewide interests are represented in council deliberations. Public and agency members are appointed by and report annually to the Governor and Legislature. Members are selected as follows:

  • nine are appointed by the Governor; three are from the environmental sector; three are from the business/labor sector; and three are from the local government sector;
  • two members are appointed by the State Senate: two are appointed by the State Assembly;
  • six are representatives from NYS agencies (Health, DEC, Transportation, Power Authority, State, and Economic Development); and
  • four are non-voting observers from NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Office of Emergency Management, Great Lakes Research Consortium, and NY Sea Grant.

Role of the Council

The GLBAC was formed to:

  • Review and make recommendations on any comprehensive Great Lakes Management Plan developed by DEC;
  • Develop legislative recommendations;
  • Assess land acquisition needs for purposes of wildlife habitat, coastal management, public access, parks and historic preservation;
  • Review and advise on proposals that come before the Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG);
  • Recommend funding priorities for NYS Great Lakes research and program needs; and
  • Advise the Commissioner of DEC concerning selection of projects to be funded by the NYS Great Lakes Protection Fund.

GLBAC Recommendations for Implementing the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Water Resources Compact

In response to a 2008 directive of the New York State Legislature, the Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council (GLBAC) has released its final report on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (Compact) (PDF). The report is meant to guide New York's implementation of the requirements of the Compact.

Great Lakes Water Withdrawal Tools

New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund

The New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund is a funding source for projects that protect, restore and improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem in New York. The Fund was created in 1990 by legislation that allows New York to use a portion of the earned interest on an endowment created by seven of the eight Great Lakes states.

The Fund supports projects between government, academia, non-governmental and environmental groups to conduct research and exchange/apply information about remediating and sustaining the health of the plant, animal, and human elements of New York's Great Lakes ecosystem. Specifically, the Fund is used to support the following areas:

  • Researching the economic, environmental and human health effects of contamination in the Great Lakes;
  • Collecting and analyzing data on the Great Lakes;
  • Developing new and improved environmental cleanup technologies applicable to the Great Lakes;
  • Researching the effectiveness of pollution-control policies affecting the Great Lakes;
  • Assessing the health of Great Lakes fish, wildlife, waterfowl and other organisms

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