Printer Friendly

Great Lakes: Organizational Leadership and Restoration Goals Need to Be Better Defined for Monitoring Restoration Progress.

GAO-04-1024 September 28, 2004

The Great Lakes remain environmentally vulnerable, prompting the United States and Canada to agree on actions to preserve and protect them. As requested, this report (1) determines the extent to which current EPA monitoring efforts provide information for assessing overall conditions in the Great Lakes Basin, (2) identifies existing restoration goals and whether monitoring is done to track goal progress, and (3) identifies the major challenges to setting restoration goals and developing a monitoring system.

Current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitoring does not provide the comprehensive information needed to assess overall conditions in the Great Lakes Basin because the required coordinated joint U.S./Canadian monitoring program has not been fully developed. Information collected from monitoring by other federal and state agencies does not, by design, provide an overall assessment of the Great Lakes because it is collected to meet specific program objectives or limited to specific geographic areas. Multiple restoration goals have been proposed through efforts by EPA and other organizations. EPA developed basin-wide goals through its Great Lakes Strategy 2002 and goals for plans addressing individual lakes. Other organizations have also identified basin-wide restoration goals and priorities. Monitoring of progress toward goals is generally limited to tracking specific action items proposed in the Great Lakes Strategy 2002; other proposed goals are generally not monitored to determine progress. Efforts to coordinate basin-wide goals and a monitoring system face several challenges. The lack of clearly defined organizational leadership poses a major obstacle. Both EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) and a newly created interagency task force have coordination roles raising uncertainty as to how leadership and coordination efforts will be exercised in the future. Second, coordinating existing restoration goals and monitoring activities among the many participating organizations within the United States, and between the United States and Canada is a significant challenge. Third, centralized information from monitoring activities is not yet available, making it difficult to assess restoration progress. In addition, an inventory system developed by EPA and Canada may not have adequate controls on voluntarily provided information.
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:Nov 1, 2004
Words:343
Previous Article:Financial Market Preparedness: Improvements Made, but More Action Needed to Prepare for Wide-Scale Disasters.
Next Article:Financial Management Systems: HHS Faces Many Challenges in Implementing Its Unified Financial Management System.


Related Articles
South Florida Restoration: Task Force Needs to Improve Science Coordination to Increase the Likelihood of Success.
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration: Improved Science Coordination Needed to Increase the Likelihood of Success.
Reintroducing pitcher's thistle.
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: A Comprehensive Strategy and Monitoring System Are Needed to Achieve Restoration Goals.
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.
Chesapeake Bay Program: Recent Actions Are Positive Steps Toward More Effectively Guiding the Restoration Effort.

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