Printer Friendly

Great Lakes: A Comprehensive Strategy and Monitoring System Are Needed to Achieve Restoration Goals.

GAO-04-782T May 21, 2004

The five Great Lakes, which comprise the largest system of freshwater in the world, are threatened on many environmental fronts. To address the extent of progress made in restoring the Great Lakes Basin, which includes the lakes and surrounding area, GAO (1) identified the federal and state environmental programs operating in the basin and funding devoted to them, (2) evaluated the restoration strategies used and how they are coordinated, and (3) assessed overall environmental progress made in the basin restoration effort.

There are 148 federal and 51 state programs funding environmental restoration activities in the Great Lakes Basin. Most of these programs are nationwide or statewide programs that do not specifically focus on the Great Lakes. However, GAO identified 33 federal Great Lakes specific programs, and 17 additional unique Great Lakes specific programs funded by states. Although Great Lakes funding is not routinely tracked for many of these programs, we identified a total of about $3.6 billion in basin-specific projects for fiscal years 1992 through 2001. Several disparate Great Lakes environmental strategies are being used at the binational, federal, and state levels. Currently, these strategies are not coordinated in a way that ensures effective use of limited resources. Without such coordination it is difficult to determine the overall progress of restoration efforts. The Water Quality Act of 1987 charged EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office with the responsibility for coordinating federal actions for improving Great Lakes' water quality; however, the office has not fully exercised this authority to this point. With available information, current environmental indicators do not allow a comprehensive assessment of restoration progress in the Great Lakes. Current indicators rely on limited quantitative data and subjective judgments to determine whether conditions are improving, such as whether fish are safe to eat. The ultimate success of an ongoing binational effort to develop a set of overall indicators for the Great Lakes is uncertain because it relies on the resources voluntarily provided by several organizations. Further, no date for completing a final list of indicators has been established.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Stonehenge International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:General Accounting Office Reports & Testimony
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:343
Previous Article:Information Technology: Homeland Security Should Better Balance Need for System Integration Strategy with Spending for New and Enhanced Systems.
Next Article:Water Quality: Program Enhancements Would Better Ensure Adequacy of Boat Pumpout Facilities in No-Discharge Zones.


Related Articles
South Florida Restoration: Task Force Needs to Improve Science Coordination to Increase the Likelihood of Success.
Great Lakes: An Overall Strategy and Indicators for Measuring Progress Are Needed to Better Achieve Restoration Goals.
Great Lakes: A Comprehensive Strategy and Monitoring System Are Needed to Achieve Restoration Goals.
Great Lakes: Organizational Leadership and Restoration Goals Need to Be Better Defined for Monitoring Restoration Progress.
Chesapeake Bay Program: Improved Strategies Are Needed to Better Assess, Report, and Manage Restoration Progress.
Chesapeake Bay Program: Improved Strategies Needed to Better Guide Restoration Efforts.
Nevada's blueprint for wildlife conservation.
Chesapeake Bay Program: Recent Actions Are Positive Steps Toward More Effectively Guiding the Restoration Effort.
Recent Actions by the Chesapeake Bay Program Are Positive Steps Toward More Effectively Guiding the Restoration Effort, but Additional Steps Are...
The Lake Apopka agreement.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |