Optimizing coastal restoration in western Lake Erie: integrating science and on-the-ground knowledge to achieve multiple objectives

The coastal region of western Lake Erie is recognized for high biodiversity value, and also supports substantial economic and cultural values. Prior planning has focused on ecological features and threats to these features. We have extended that focus by identifying and integrating aspects of human wellbeing to create a vision for conservation that can meet ecological and socioeconomic goals. We've engaged public and private partners to clarify priorities and obtain data to spatially represent these values, and have optimized conservation areas to achieve ecological and socioeconomic goals. Results confirm that current and potential wetlands and areas of high terrestrial biodiversity are of greatest importance for coastal conservation and support values such as hunting, birding, and public access to water. We’ve employed this analysis to assess restoration opportunities in Ohio and Michigan and have obtained funding to improve water management for a high-priority state wildlife area that provides multiple benefits.

Subject Matter Level: 
Friday, January 15, 2016 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm
Doug Pearsall
As Senior Conservation Scientist, Doug plays a lead role in conservation planning for the Great Lakes and in Michigan. He led the creation of biodiversity conservation strategies for Lake Michigan and Lake Erie and continues to promote an adaptive management approach for Great Lakes conservation. He works closely with the Western Lake Erie coastal conservation team to pioneer the integration of socioeconomic values with our traditional ecological priorities. He is a member of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Northern Forest working group, and supports the LCC Coastal working group in its development of a landscape conservation design. Doug received his Ph.D. in natural resources in 1995 from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), Ann Arbor. Doug and his wife Nancy live in East Lansing. He enjoys outdoor activities and is an avid green commuter.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Gust Annis, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan; Tara Baranowski, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio; Patrick Doran, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan; Dave Ewert, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan; Katie Kahl, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan; Eddie Game, The Nature Conservancy; Chris May, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan; Erika Washburn, Lake Superior National Estuarine Reserve