What We Do


Coastal Conservation

Kadunce Creek along the north shore of Lake Superior. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Kadunce Creek along the north shore of Lake Superior. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Great Lakes’ coastal areas and shorelines support terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that are globally unique and support a rich variety of species. Exhibiting some of the highest population densities, coastal areas are also critical to human endeavors.  With continued population pressures, climate change, fragmentation and other threats, there is a strong need for action to protect and restore these sensitive areas.  Long-term sustainability of coastal resources requires coordinated management and protection across an array of land ownership and management regimes.  The Coastal Conservation Work Group, working with others, will identify opportunities for aligning priorities across the Great Lakes coastal realm and invest in data and knowledge to fill gaps, tools that enable decisions, and strategies to incentivize action. The work group will support actions that:

  • Identify key partners – engage and work with stakeholders in coastal areas
  • Identify priorities – which valued benefits (e.g. maintaining shoreline systems and processes, maintaining shoreline water quality, wetland conservation and others) should be the focus of regional science and decision tool development
  • Inform decisions – support research and development of decision support tools
  • Communicate results – disseminate information to decision-makers for coordinated response to coastal conservation, threats, and policies