Every day, leaders across the Great Lakes Basin make strategic decisions intended to enhance the quality and sustainability of the Great Lakes ecosystem. These decisions set priorities and allocate resources to drive adaptive management programs that support desired sociocultural, economic, and environmental outcomes. There is an information gap between the decisions Great Lakes leaders make and the results of the programs they influence. As a region, our desired outcomes are not always aligned and we lack a process to measure the combined effects of the many adaptive management programs.
Blue Accounting is a program designed to support strategic decision-making throughout the Great Lakes water system. Led jointly by The Nature Conservancy and the Great Lakes Commission, Blue Accounting seeks to fill the information gap between the decisions Great Lakes leaders make and the outcomes these decisions influence. Blue Accounting will bring the right information to the right people at the right time to support collaborative efforts to sustain and enhance the Great Lakes.
The Blue Accounting information management and delivery system will integrate and significantly enhance the Commission's well-established Great Lakes Information Network (www.great-lakes.net) and the Conservancy's innovative Great Lakes Inform (www.greatlakesinform.org) platforms. Together, these platforms will integrate existing data and information, provide a context for that information, work with leaders and managers to set performance metrics and report on the impacts of investments, and deliver services to enhance decision-making.
This new, integrated Blue Accounting system will also build upon and complement the extensive data collection and management programs already in place throughout the basin. This presentation provides an overview to the Great Lakes Blue Accounting program (currently in its pilot phase) and the services it provides to achieve conservation outcomes.
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Shawn Weis - Shawn Weis is a Program Director for The Nature Conservancy's Michigan Chapter. Working for the Conservancy since 2008, she currently manages the Great Lakes Information Management & Delivery Program, a basin-wide initiative supporting collaborative adaptive management. Shawn has been advancing participatory, science based, planning at local, regional, state, and interstate scales for over 10 years. She focuses her research on developing tools that provide local and regional solutions to planning conundrums. She is interested in integrated approaches that provide analyses and recommendations that benefit both people and nature. She has previously played critical roles in the formation of the Caribbean Regional Ocean Partnership, the management of the New Hampshire Community Technical Assistance Program, and the development of the St. Kitts and Nevis Federal Marine Spatial Plan. Shawn received her MSc in Conservation Biology from Antioch New England Graduate School and her BA from Oberlin College.
Lisa Brush - Executive Director, The Stewardship Network. Lisa has worked in the environmental field in Michigan for the last fifteen years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Stewardship Network and has been involved with the Network since its inception more than 10 years ago. She has a wealth of experience helping non-scientific people understand scientific issues. For over nine years, as she has built and coordinated The Stewardship Network, she has emphasized effective and meaningful stakeholder involvement in developing and implementing all aspects of this program. She has a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. (Science in Society) from Wesleyan University.