The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Science To Achieve Results (STAR) competitive grants research program, has established five regional Estuarine & Great Lakes (EaGLe) research centers at major academic research institutions with strong expertise in coastal environmental science. Additionally, NASA is supporting associated remote sensing research at three of these institutions. The researchers at these five regional centers are developing the next generation of environmental indicators to assess the biological health of the Great Lakes coast and estuaries and wetlands along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. Indicators evaluated and developed by the EaGLe centers will be used by the states in their long-term monitoring programs to establish the integrity and sustainability of the nation's coastal ecosystems.
Great Lakes Environmental Indicators (GLEI) Project, a subset of EaGLe, is led by the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). Other cooperators include the following: the University of Minnesota Twin Cities; Minnesota Sea Grant; the University of Wisconsin Green Bay; the University of Wisconsin Madison; Cornell University, New York; John Carroll University, Ohio; the University of Michigan; the University of Windsor, Ontario; and the US EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Duluth, Minnesota, and Grosse Ile, Michigan. STAR grant R828675.
GLEI is developing and testing a suite of indicators across the range of habitats that make up the Great Lakes coastal margins. The following indicator types will be tested for their efficacy and technical soundness within three subcategories: 1) the basin as a whole: climate measures, land uses, and landscape characteristics; 2) estuaries, bays and coastal margin waters: water quality, contaminant levels, and the relative abundances of amphibian, bird, diatom, fish, macroinvertebrate and plant species and communities, and 3) the land margins: measures of bird community structure. Each of these indicator types has linkages with habitat condition measures and other stressors.
Data is not currently available and is stored on EPA servers. For details, see http://eagle.nrri.umn.edu/pub_data.htm