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Great Lakes Partnerships

The Great Lakes basin spans eight states and two Canadian provinces. To move conservation forward in a system this vast, The Nature Conservancy must work with partners from all sectors—government, corporations, other conservation organizations, individual landowners and our many supporters.

The need for partnerships is underscored by events like Great Lakes Week, which provides an important opportunity for regional stakeholders to discuss Great Lakes issues, such as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and major threats to the Great Lakes, such as algae blooms and aquatic invasive species.

The Nature Conservancy participates in Great Lakes Week in a variety of capacities, offering presentations, scientific expertise and commentary during Great Lakes Now’s live coverage of the convening, reaching public television stations throughout the United States and Canada.

The Nature Conservancy also relies on partners for our on-the-ground initiatives in the Great Lakes basin:

  • Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetlands: the only freshwater barrier-beach formation in New York and an important staging area for migratory birds. Learn how volunteer land stewards play a critical role in protecting this fragile dune system.
  • Western Lake Erie Basin: one of the most productive areas to grow food in the country. Lost nutrients from farm fields—nitrogen and phosphorus—are one of the contributors to the rise of algal blooms in our streams and lakes, leading to increased water treatment costs, reductions in fish production and poor water quality. Find out how The Nature Conservancy works with farmers and the agricultural industry on 4R certification to reduce fertilizer runoff.
  • Green Bay: one of the largest freshwater estuaries in the world. With funding from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Conservancy and a diverse group of partners in Wisconsin and Michigan have developed a plan for conserving and restoring Green Bay.
  • Northern Forests of Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin: a wide swath of intact forests that help moderate regional climate and reduce sediment flowing into the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Collaborations and supportive policy decisions will help land managers, both public and private, keep the northern forests intact and bolster their resilience to past, present and future threats.

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