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Great Lakes Action Agenda

Implementing NY's Great Lakes Action Agenda

DEC has released the updated New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda 2023 (PDF), a strategic, ecosystem-based action plan to guide restoration and conservation, and foster sustainable, resilient communities in New York's Great Lakes region.

DEC will be engaging with the public and stakeholders to facilitate implementation. To learn more and to get involved with regional sub basin work groups to support implementation, contact

NY's Great Lakes Action Agenda is a plan to conserve, restore, protect, and enhance NY's Great Lakes lands and waters.

infographic depicting ecosystem based management
Click the image for a complete
PDF infographic explaining
ecosystem-based management.

NY's Great Lakes Action Agenda implements shared goals to improve water quality and ecosystem health through ecosystem-based management (EBM). EBM is a systems approach that balances the needs of people, nature and the economy through science-informed decision making.

GLAA Work Groups

Four work groups work to implement GLAA goals, to achieve sustainable outcomes at the watershed scale.

Work group meetings are held twice a year and are open to everyone -- including environmental organizations, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, local government and private citizens.

What do the work groups do?

  • Foster communication and collaboration among partners within each of the four sub-basins and across the state's Great Lakes watershed.
  • Implement and evaluate projects and programs to achieve GLAA goals.
  • Connect stakeholders to resources, technical assistance, expertise, and information.

NY's GLAA Collaborator's Webinar Series: To promote collaboration this fall, this webinar series will invite speakers to share their collaborative GLAA and EBM project ideas, research findings, and success stories. Contact us at to share your ideas.

Screenshot of Webinar Recording

GLAA Projects and Partners Webinars: Learn about partners and projects working to protect, restore, and enhance NY's Great Lakes lands and waters, in support of NY's Great Lakes Action Agenda. The series continues every other week through the summer. Learn more and register (PDF).

NY's GLAA is achieving shared goals! The Great Lakes 2022 Report (PDF) is now available. Contact to learn more and become involved in a GLAA work group. Previous reports are available upon request.

Great Lakes Subbasin EBM area map
Boundaries of work groups (tan) and priority areas (green).

Sub-Basin Work Groups and Partner Priority Areas for EBM

Priority areas were identified by each GLAA regional work group to advance collaboration at a watershed scale and promote long term ecosystem health and resilience. These watersheds will showcase to other areas how EBM can benefit people, nature, and economies. EBM priority watersheds are highlighted in green on the map.

A pilot effort is underway to develop Integrated Watershed Action Plans for two partner priority areas for EBM, the Cattaraugus Creek and Sterling-Wolcott Creek watersheds. Learn more about this project here.

Lake Erie (Lake Erie and Niagara River lands and waters)

  • Focus areas include reducing polluted runoff, protecting important lands for wildlife and resiliency, and engaging communities in sustainable land use practices and stewardship.
  • Partner Priority Area: Cattaraugus Creek
    Partners are protecting and conserving the natural resources of the Cattaraugus Creek watershed by:
    • increasing aquatic habitat and connectivity for brook trout and other native species;
    • enhancing resiliency to localized flooding by using natural, green infrastructure approaches;
    • reducing sediment and nutrient loadings to improve water quality within the creek and along Lake Erie; and
    • promoting awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of Cattaraugus Creek.

Southwest Lake Ontario: (Genesee River and coastal western Lake Ontario lands and waters)

  • Focus areas include reducing nutrients and sediment runoff, restoring and protecting habitats along shorelines and waterways and engaging communities in sustainable land use practices and resiliency planning.
  • Partner Priority Area: Black & Oatka Creeks
    Partners are improving water quality and waterway health within the Black and Oatka Creek watersheds by:
    • engaging local decision makers in implementation of the Black and Oatka Creek watershed management plans,
    • providing watershed training opportunities for communities,
    • implementing green infrastructure projects.

Southeast Lake Ontario: (Coastal eastern Lake Ontario, and Oswego River, Oneida Lake, and Finger Lakes lands and waters)

  • Focus areas include improving agricultural practices to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff, protecting drinking water resources, promoting stewardship along shorelines and waterways, and enhancing community resiliency to flooding and erosion.
  • Partner Priority Area: Wolcott and Sterling Creeks
    Partners are improving shoreline and waterway health within the Wolcott and Sterling Creek watersheds by:
    • implementing agricultural best management practices such as cover crops and riparian buffers,
    • addressing faulty on-site septic systems,
    • promoting nature-based shorelines approaches, and
    • applying integrated invasive species management.

Northeast Lake Ontario - (Black River and St. Lawrence River lands and waters)

  • Focus areas include improving on-site septic treatment, conserving and protecting important fish and wildlife habitats, restoring aquatic connectivity, and supporting smart growth and community revitalization.
  • Partner Priority Area: Goose Bay
    Partners are enhancing habitat, recreational uses, and community stewardship of the Goose Bay watershed by:
    • implementing aquatic habitat restoration projects,
    • applying an integrated approach to invasive species management, and
    • promoting land use best practices, such as planting native vegetation and septic maintenance.

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    700 Delaware Avenue
    Buffalo, NY 14209
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