On February 10, the GLLC hosted speakers from the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) to talk about their Blue Accounting program. Program manager Nicole Zacharda and project manager Ceci Weibert presented on Blue Accounting’s drinking water, aquatic invasive species, and nutrient management data sets and visualizations.
Zacharda outlined the areas of focus for the newly launched drinking water portal, including drinking water protection, treatment requirements, and safe water distribution. Using safe water distribution as an example, Zacharda modeled how Blue Accounting tracks lead service line replacement in each state/province. The portal also contains a policy comparison table between states/provinces using the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus model policy on drinking water.
Weibert discussed the aquatic invasive species (AIS) section of Blue Accounting. She showed the group the metrics on recreational boating prevention programs by state/province, including a comparison of enacted regulations and programs. She shared that the province of Ontario used these tools to outline its recreational boating regulations in 2022 to align with regional partners. Weibert also presented data on harmonization of AIS prevention programs by species.
To close, Zacharda gave an update on the Blue Accounting ErieStat. ErieStat contains data on harmful algal blooms (HABs), phosphorus levels, and strategies to reduce phosphorus across the Lake Erie basin. Despite efforts to reduce phosphorus, the region has not yet achieved a decrease in HABs. ErieStat allows policymakers to review phosphorus levels by watershed across the region to track and assess which areas require the most attention.
The Great Lakes Commission is seeking feedback from and collaboration with Great Lakes legislators on how to update, expand, and improve Blue Accounting. If you have any thoughts to share, please contact Nicole Zacharda.
The recording of the webinar can be seen here.
The GLLC will be holding a webinar on “Climate Trends and Impacts in the Great Lakes Region” on Friday, March 31, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET in partnership with Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA). Register today!