Monitoring in the Great Lakes Basin:
A Regional Conference for Active Monitoring Stakeholders
A Proposal from the Great Lakes Commission
The Great Lakes Commission, in association with the sponsors listed below, proposes to convene a binational conference to assess ecosystem monitoring and surveillance in the Great Lakes basin. The conference responds to the growing need for region-wide monitoring coordination and information exchange. This high-profile forum will bring together monitoring experts from within and beyond the region to discuss a variety of issues related to coordinating an effective monitoring network that will provide baseline data for ecosystem assessments throughout the basin. With limited resources to support Great Lakes programs, there is a great need to collaborate and enhance information exchange. The following is a preliminary overview of the conference framework.
Preliminary goals for the conference are to:
Create linkages between monitoring coordinators and resource managers;
Evaluate the ability of the current monitoring coverage to support SOLEC indicators;
Discover important areas for information exchange;
Discuss barriers to regional monitoring coordination and collaboration; and
Learn about new techniques in monitoring data collection, management, and dissemination.
Conference Format and Discussion Topics
Plenary sessions addressing basinwide themes will be supplemented by breakout sessions designed along tracks devoted to specific monitoring topics. This is similar to the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference design. Specific session topics will be developed by a planning committee. Possible tracks or sessions include:
SOLEC indicator assessment
Monitoring for RAP/LaMP goals
Methods and data standards
Conference Schedule and Location
The conference will be held in the fall of 2001 in a central location in the Great Lakes region. This timeframe will avoid conflicts with the biennial State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference and will provide an important regional forum for those unable to attend the International Joint Commissions water quality forum scheduled for September 2001 in Montreal, Quebec. The conference will also lead into the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference scheduled for the spring of 2002 in Madison, WI.
The Commission will establish a binational steering committee to develop the conference agenda, identify speakers and ensure the conference responds to the needs and interests of Great Lakes policy makers, resource managers and other active monitoring stakeholders. The steering committee will include representatives from the full range of U.S. and Canadian federal and state/provincial agencies, citizens groups, industry, academia and other stakeholders.
Great Lakes Commission
Lake Michigan Monitoring Coordination Council
National Water Quality Monitoring Council
Great Lakes National Program Office