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LaMP: Great Lakes Program Reporting
 

LaMP: Great Lakes Program Reporting

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Strategic Review of Binational Great Lakes Program Reporting: Management of Lakewide Programs Issue

Strategic Review of Binational Great Lakes Program Reporting: Management of Lakewide Programs Issue

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    LaMP: Great Lakes Program Reporting LaMP: Great Lakes Program Reporting Document Transcript

    • Binational Executive Committee Meeting April 14-15, 2009 Chicago, IL Strategic Review of Binational Great Lakes Program Reporting: Management of Lakewide Programs Issue A BEC decision on increasing its accountability through more effective and streamlined Lakewide Program reporting and decision-making processes is requested. In this paper, the term “Lakewide Programs” means the Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs) and the Lake Huron Binational Partnership. Background The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) Annex 2 requires a LaMP be created for the open waters of each of the Great Lakes to control critical pollutants. Specifically, Annex 2 says that: “Such Plans shall be designed to reduce loadings of Critical Pollutants in order to restore beneficial uses; Lakewide Management Plans shall not allow increases in pollutant loadings in areas where Specific Objectives are not exceeded.” Annex 2 also requires Lakewide Management Plans to be submitted to the IJC for review and comment at four stages; (1) when a definition of the problem has been completed; (2) when the schedule of load reductions is determined; (3) when remedial measures are selected; and (4) when monitoring indicates that the contribution of the Critical Pollutants to impairment of identified beneficial uses has been eliminated. Some Lakewide programs developed Stage reports in the 1990s; however they also began to address broader ecosystem issues in addition to a critical pollutant focus. In l999, the BEC directed that LaMPs would be updated every two years, beginning in 2000. The updates were to be “iterative updates reflective of current knowledge and ecosystem status”, and were to “embody the critical pollutant as well as ecosystem components of the LaMPs.” Further, an integrated approach, concurrently defining problems, selecting and implementing actions was to be employed, using an adaptive management approach, rather than the sequential (staged) one called for in the GLWQA. In 2000, LaMPs were completed for Lakes Superior, Michigan, Erie and Ontario, while Lake Huron completed a Binational Partnership Action Plan in 2004. Lakewide Program updates have been produced every two years since and focus on successes, challenges, new information and next steps. Coordination with other programs such as the State of the Great Lakes Ecosystem Reporting and Conference (SOLEC), the Cooperative Science and April 7, 2009 page 1 of 13
    • Monitoring Initiative (CSMI), the Binational Toxics Strategy (BTS) and the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for Areas of Concern (AOC) program has not been uniformly systematic and regular. In January 2003, a workshop was held for Lakewide Program managers and staff in Windsor, Ontario. The specifics around audience, format, common elements, outreach/publications, and resources needed for Lakewide Program 2004 updates were discussed. Consultation with each Lakewide Program Management Committee and some Forums subsequently occurred, and each Lakewide Program developed a plan for implementation of the direction coming out of the workshop. In June 2003, the BEC endorsed the recommended approach (See Appendix A) for future Lakewide Program updates, commencing in 2004. In spring 2008, BEC gave a directive to undertake a review of Great Lakes program reporting and use of information to identify opportunities for better coordination of reporting across Great Lake programs and for enhancing the use and effectiveness of this information in decision- making processes. In summer 2008, binational Great Lakes program managers discussed possible measures to improve coordination and reporting under the GLWQA through the Lakewide Programs, CSMI, SOLEC, AOCs and BTS programs. Discussions uncovered a number of points. First, communication and reporting efforts can be aligned across programs at different scales: the Great Lakes basin scale via SOLEC and the BTS, the lake scale via Lakewide Programs, and the local scale through AOCs. This would reduce any duplicative communication. Second, strong linkages among programs (i.e. Lakewide Programs and CSMI) can ensure better communication and coordinated reporting cycles. Lastly, Lakewide Programs need to coordinate with other programs, such as watershed planning and management, land use planning, and fisheries management. In fall 2008, BEC approved changes to the reporting schedule for SOLEC (changed from a 2 to 3 year cycle) and BTS (changed from a 1 to 2 year cycle). BEC Members were asked to provide comments to the BEC Secretariat by January 15, 2009 on the proposed Lakewide Program changes and CSMI proposals in order that decisions could be made on revised proposals at the spring 2009 BEC meeting. The section that follows summarizes changes proposed for the Lakewide programs. April 7, 2009 page 2 of 13
    • Proposed Changes for BEC Approval EPA and Environment Canada propose to transition the Lakewide programs to a new model in the priority setting, management, reporting and accountability areas, beginning in 2009. • Priority Setting Proposal: o Lakewide Programs are the lead for establishing binational science and monitoring priorities. Lakewide Program Management Committees will approve these priorities. Lakewide Programs are therefore recognized as the mechanism for establishing binational priorities for science and monitoring, and related actions for the protection of the quality of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. • Management Proposal: o In the future, the Lakewide Programs will manage to the greatest extent possible delivery of GLWQA commitments and will help to coordinate reporting from various programs. Lakewide Programs will therefore be recognized as the principal mechanism for binational planning, coordination and reporting in support of the GLWQA commitments. As such, they will be the binational management framework for the overall restoration, protection and maintenance of the waters of Great Lakes ecosystem, including nearshore and open waters; o The Lakewide Programs will be managed using adaptive management and the Lakewide Program Management Framework (see Appendix B), which includes establishing objectives; synthesizing science; identifying impairments, causes and gaps; establishing and facilitating implementation of priorities for science and action; and evaluation and reporting. The Lakewide Programs will continue to address prevention, protection and restoration. • Reporting Proposal: o Change the Lakewide Program reporting from a two-year to a five-year reporting cycle aligned to the 5-year CSMI cycle (i.e. one Lakewide Program reports out each year). This cycle could begin in 2010 with the Lake Huron Binational Partnership reporting, as the pilot. (see Appendix C for proposed schedule); o Development and distribution by the Lakewide Programs of annual, short, public- friendly status reports. The purpose of these reports is to highlight progress and challenges, and to outline planned activities including outreach, monitoring, protection and restoration actions; o Additional reporting (e.g. technical binational and domestic reports, fact sheets, brochures, conferences, and presentations) is completed as needed. An evaluation of the effectiveness of various reporting strategies used by Lakewide programs for various audiences should be undertaken. • Increased accountability in each Lakewide Program through: o Further refinement of and reporting on lake-specific ecosystem goals, indicators and performance measures; o Completion of Lakewide Program 5-year activity Workplans starting in 2010 which will outline activities to be undertaken by the Lakewide Program o Documentation of implementation actions needed, and undertaken, to address priorities identified in the Lakewide Program Plans. April 7, 2009 page 3 of 13
    • Discussion The objective of these changes is to significantly strengthen the utility and effectiveness of the current Lakewide Program processes by building on accomplishments to date. The International Joint Commission should be informed of these changes and a detailed briefing offered. Lakewide Programs are already significantly altered from the original GLWQA requirements; therefore these proposed working changes can be made now within the framework of the existing GLWQA, rather than awaiting potential more significant structural changes that may be set in motion if the GLWQA is renegotiated. For Lakewide Programs, moving to a five-year cycle will allow for improved integration with CSMI planning and reporting, more efficient use of resources, a continued focus on implementation actions and a more coherent planning process overall. This will ensure that Lakewide Program Plans reflect the most current information, including the diagnosis of problems and conditions on a lake, provide goals and objectives, develop indicators and summarize progress. Integrating the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative and the Lakewide Program reporting schedule and programs will improve overall coordination of planning and actions, and dissemination of CSMI results. The Lakewide Programs recognize that binational coordination includes the Great Lakes Connecting Channels upstream of lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario (i.e., St. Marys River/Lake Huron, St. Clair – Detroit Corridor/Lake Erie, Niagara River/Lake Ontario) with respect to their effect on the downstream lake and with respect to the Connecting Channels themselves. Monitoring coordination for the Connecting Channels should occur on the same 5-year cycle as their downstream lake basins. Provisions need to be developed for the international section of the St. Lawrence River. Consultation with existing binational connecting channel programs such as the Niagara River Toxics Management Plan (NRTMP) will be necessary. As reported at the October 2008 BEC meeting, AOC progress summaries will continue to be included in Lakewide Program reports (now every 5 years). Comprehensive progress reports and/or other reporting methods will also be prepared by the Parties and their partners, such as the Report Card on the Status of Beneficial Use Impairments in Canadian AOCs that is in preparation and will be released before March 31, 2010. Frequent reporting on progress in AOCs will also continue to occur as domestic websites are updated, and as Remedial Action Plan documents are released (e.g. revised Stage 2, Stage 3). The Parties will also continue to host and participate in conferences and other venues to facilitate the sharing of information both domestically and binationally. Details on specific AOC reporting venues and schedules will be discussed at a future BEC meeting. Recognizing that addressing and delisting Areas of Concern (AOCs) are integral parts of Lakewide restoration and protection efforts, AOCs should be closely coordinated with their respective Lakewide Program. Current ongoing AOC management structures, such as the Four Agency Management Committee, will continue to be the principal mechanisms for AOC April 7, 2009 page 4 of 13
    • management. As AOCs are delisted, environmental issues in these areas will be addressed within the nearshore elements of the LaMP. While some coordination between Lakewide programs and Great Lakes Fisheries Commission (GLFC) Technical Committees is in place at the working level, more can be done with respect to lakewide goals, reporting and monitoring. For example, in some lakes GLFC environmental goals are being developed concurrently with Lakewide Program ecosystem goals. The St. Marys River has a Fisheries Assessment Plan under the GLFC with identifies stakeholder supported issues for which monitoring is needed. BEC Member Agencies are encouraged to continue to participate in Lakewide Program workgroup/management committees and processes, science and monitoring planning and implementation processes, and integrating and implementing where possible Lakewide Program priorities with agency programs, actions and activities. Lakewide and Basinwide Program reporting and discussion will continue at the BEC table. Recommendation BEC approval of the proposed changes to Lakewide Programs. Prepared by: John Marsden, Environment Canada Elizabeth LaPlante, USEPA April 7, 2009 page 5 of 13
    • APPENDIX A – June 2003 BEC Paper on LaMP Reporting Binational Executive Committee Meeting (Day 2 Agenda Item 2) June 19-20, 2003, Chicago, Illinois LaMP Reporting Plans (for 2004 and Future Biennial Reports) ____________________________________________________________ Issue LaMP biennial reporting starting in 2004. Desired Outcome BEC endorsement of the LaMP biennial reporting recommendation. Background In l999, the BEC directed that LaMPs would be updated every two years, beginning in 2000. The updates were to be “iterative updates reflective of current knowledge and ecosystem status”, and were to “embody the critical pollutant as well as ecosystem components of the LaMPs.” Further, an integrated approach, concurrently defining problems, selecting and implementing actions was to be employed, using an adaptive management approach, rather than a sequential one. This recognized the real world application of LaMPs to ecosystem protection, where problems may change over time and where major issues require multi-year solutions to be implemented. LaMPs were published in 2000 and progress reports were released in the Spring of 2002. The LaMP Progress Reports for each lake ranged from 27 to 100 pages. Analysis by various LaMP work groups identified a need to refine the LaMP reporting process, particularly with regard to the time, effort, and resources needed to produce the documents. Additionally, it was felt to be important to reassess LaMP reporting in light of the IJC Reporting Exercise and reporting requirements in Annex 2 of the GLWQA. Preliminary discussions between the Parties determined that clarification was needed on LaMP reporting. Discussions revealed that the l999 BEC Directive was basically sound, in that it provided guidance on the concept of LaMP reporting and the overall approach. However, there was a need to revisit the form and structure of the LaMP reports because of shrinking budgets and fewer resources. Greater emphasis needed to be placed on implementation and partnerships to protect each Lake basin. Discussion points also included an analysis and discussion of the documents produced to date. In December 2002, BEC reaffirmed the basic directions set out in the 1999 BEC LaMP directive and supported holding a workshop in early 2003 to develop specifics on LaMP reporting. Simon Llewellyn (EC) and Gary Gulezian (GLNPO) were to organize a workshop in early 2003 for LaMP managers and staff, to develop recommendations on the specifics of LaMP reporting. April 7, 2009 page 6 of 13
    • The workshop was held in January 2003 in Windsor, Ontario. The specifics around format, common elements, outreach/publications, and resources needed for LaMP 2004 reporting were discussed. Consultation with each LaMP Management Committee and some Forums subsequently occurred, and each LaMP has plans developed to meet the deadlines and requirements for LaMP 2004. These plans are described in the following recommendation. Recommendations 1. Progress Reporting The recommended biennial progress reporting approach strikes a balance between consistency among LaMPs* and individual LaMP needs while minimizing reporting efforts. LaMPs and an update on the Lake Huron Binational Partnership are targeted for simultaneous April 2004 release and most will contain similar elements. Emphasis will be placed not on redoing the LaMPs but on updating existing information as necessary, and adding new information as appropriate, using a loose-leaf binder format. The primary purpose and audience for the binder is the Parties and their partners who are charged with lakewide management. Reporting to the IJC is a secondary purpose. Biennial reports will address the following range of common elements over time as plans are developed and implemented: • Executive Summary, • Guide to major changes and where to find the other LaMP documents, • Vision and goals, • Problem definition and BUI assessments, • Objectives, Indicators, and Monitoring, • Human Health • Ecosystem Status-habitat, wildlife, fisheries, non-native species • Critical Pollutants- sources, loads, and management actions ( integrate with GLBTS) • Sustainability and/or Partnerships • Public Involvement • AOC status and accomplishments • Workplan/accomplishments/challenges/emerging issues • Other (Botulism, TMDLs, Climate Change, R&D needs, watersheds and water levels) Each Lake will determine a cut-off date for input to the biennial report, and a process to reflect any significant issue that arises after that date (e.g. reflect in transmittal letter). * Lake Huron’s report will differ from the LaMPs since many LaMP activities are beyond the scope of currently agreed upon actions in the binational partnership. April 7, 2009 page 7 of 13
    • 2. Outreach Materials It is recommended that each LaMP define its own outreach materials/publications/mechanisms /tools. The 6 page cross lake summary that has been produced in prior years will again be produced. 3. Role of Public The role of the public in the biennial reporting process, document preparation and review was discussed at the workshop, however no overall recommendation that would apply to every LaMP has been developed. Instead it is recommended that each LaMP engage their respective publics in any change to biennial reporting. 4. Staged Reporting The relationship of the biennial report to staged reporting was discussed at the workshop, and it is recommended that the biennial report transmittal letter to the IJC contain an explanation (see Lake Michigan LaMP for language), and provide a “map” of where to find Stage 1-4 info (for critical pollutants only – as per Annex 2) in the LaMP document. 5. Additional In addition to LaMP reporting recommendations for 2004 and beyond, it was recommended at the workshop that the following be prepared: • Draft response to Nov/02 letter from IJC re report review, noting decision from May- June/03 BEC meeting • Key messages to leave with IJC (e.g. ecosystem approach includes critical pollutants, explanation re not doing staged reporting) • Next steps for delivering message to IJC (roles for BEC, Simon/Gary) Next Steps With BEC endorsement of the recommendations, LaMPs will continue moving forward to refine information and develop updates to produce high quality Lake update reports for release in April 2004. BEC Action Needed Endorse the LaMP 2004 reporting recommendations. Prepared by: John Marsden, EC-OR, ECB Judy Beck, EPA-GLNPO April 7, 2009 page 8 of 13
    • APPENDIX B – Lakewide Program Management Framework Introduction The current Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) Annex 2 requires a Lakewide Management Plan (Lakewide Program) be created for each of the Great Lakes, for the open waters of the Great Lakes. The purpose of these plans is to reduce loadings of Critical Pollutants in order to restore beneficial uses, using a systematic and comprehensive ecosystem approach. To accomplish this, the Lakewide Programs identify the priority issues, goals, objectives, indicators and actions (including science) required to remediate the Lake ecosystem, and report on progress towards achieving said goals and objectives. A Lakewide Management Program is in place for all five Great Lakes. In 2000, Lakewide Programs were completed for Lakes Superior, Michigan, Erie and Ontario, while Lake Huron completed a Binational Partnership Action Plan in 2004. A separate management plan is in place for Lake St. Clair. Lakewide Program updates have been produced every two years since and focus on successes, challenges and next steps. The GLWQA called for an initial chemical contamination and nutrient reduction focus. In 1999, the BEC approved an ecosystem approach using adaptive management for the Lakewide Programs wherein it decided that “The LaMPs should treat problem identification, selection of remedial and regulatory measures, and implementation as a concurrent, integrated process rather than a sequential one. The LaMPs should embody an ecosystem approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of critical pollutants and the ecosystem. BEC endorses application of the concept of adaptive management to the LaMP process. By that, we adapt an iterative process with periodic refining of the LaMPs which build upon the lessons, successes, information, and public input generated pursuant to previous versions. LaMPs will adjust over time to address the most pertinent issues facing the Lake ecosystems. Each LaMP should be based on the current body of knowledge and should clearly state what can be done based on current data and information. The LaMPs should identify gaps that still exist with respect to research and information and actions to close those gaps.” Coordination with other programs such as SOLEC, CSMI, the Binational Toxics Strategy and the AOC program has not been uniformly systematic and regular, and therefore, opportunity exists for improvements and greater efficiencies. An ecosystem management framework, i.e., a “Logic Model” for the Lakewide Programs is proposed as follows: April 7, 2009 page 9 of 13
    • LaMP Logic Model 1. Vision, goals, objectives, targets and indicators are established through collaboration and consultation with agencies, stakeholders and the public; 2. Available science (research and monitoring) is assembled, synthesized, analyzed, and reported; 3. Information gaps and/or need for additional information are identified; 4. Ecosystem impairments and threats are identified; 5. Causal factors for impairments are determined; 6. Priorities for action and targeted results are identified; 7. Effectiveness of existing programs in addressing causal factors and eliminating ecosystem impairments is assessed; 8. Need for additional actions is identified and advocated; 9. Roles and responsibilities for implementation of actions are identified; 10. Implementation of actions is facilitated to the degree possible, including the fostering of partnerships to achieve the objectives of the LaMP. 11. Progress toward achievement of targeted results is assessed and reported. Lakewide Program/CSMI Management Cycle The following section explains the year-by-year science and monitoring cycle for the interface between the CSMI and the LaMPs. As noted earlier, the monitoring and science needs of the connecting channels will be considered within the context and timeframe of their respective downstream lake basins. Year 1: o Reporting: Lakewide Program 5 year report published, incorporating: • data generated by the coordinated science and monitoring exercise • a 5-year LaMP workplan that describes what will be done within the five-year cycle, including additional studies, priority projects and initiatives, and how the Lakewide Programs will engage the public • the most current information, including the diagnosis of problems and conditions on a lake, ecosystem goals and objectives, indicators and a summary of accomplishments/successes. Lakewide Program Public-friendly annual report o Science Assessment: Lakewide Program, with BTS, GLFC and SOLEC input, and support from the Council of Great Lakes Research Managers and Great Lakes Regional Research Information Network, organizes a Lake-Based meeting/workshop to discuss science on the lake, including results of previous Coordinated Monitoring year. o Planning: First of two planning years for the next coordinated monitoring exercise. Large scale planning (the Macro planning year). April 7, 2009 page 10 of 13
    • Lakewide Program Management Committee approves key Science and Monitoring needs for the lake. Coordinated Science and Monitoring Initiative Steering Committee (CSMI- SC) vets the list to determine how science priorities can be addressed. Year 2: o Second planning year – smaller scale planning and logistical coordination, additional meetings if necessary. o CSMI-SC determines if the science priorities can be addressed with ongoing work or whether new science and monitoring are required. A workplan that can be supported with known resources is developed by CSMI SC. o CSMI-SC and the Lakewide Program Management committees will agree on a final workplan for implementation. o For those items agreed to, resources are brought together and if necessary, RFP’s are issued. o Lakewide Program Public-friendly annual report. Year 3: o Intensive field activity. o This is the year of sample collection through a multi-agency, coordinated program. The new science sampling needs are addressed through ongoing, scheduled surveys or additional lake-specific field work. o Lakewide Program Public-friendly annual report Year 4: o Laboratory analysis phase, initial data management. Samples collected during the field year are analyzed and data are brought together into databases for analysis and report writing. o Lakewide Program Public-friendly annual report Year 5: o Data analysis and Report writing. Analyses and reports handed off to the Lakewide Program Management Committee for reporting during the next year o Lakewide Program Public-friendly annual report April 7, 2009 page 11 of 13
    • Appendix C – Lakewide Program/CSMI/SOLEC/BTS Management and Reporting Cycle Transition Activity 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 CSMI needs identified Lake Lake Lake Lake Huron Lake Ontario Lake Erie Lake Michigan Lake Lake Huron Lake Ontario Erie Michigan Superior /St. Lawrence? Superior CSMI workplan Lake Lake Erie Lake Lake Lake Huron Lake Lake Erie Lake Lake Lake Huron development Ontario Michigan Superior Ontario Michigan Superior /St. Lawrence? CSMI field work Lake Lake Lake Erie Lake Lake Lake Lake Ontario Lake Erie Lake Lake Huron Ontario Michigan Superior Huron Michigan Superior /St. Lawrence? CSMI lab work Lake Huron Lake Lake Erie Lake Lake Lake Huron Lake Lake Erie Lake Ontario Michigan Superior Ontario Michigan CSMI reporting Lake Huron Lake Ontario Lake Erie Lake Lake Superior Lake Huron Lake Lake Erie (IAGLR*) (IAGLR*?) (IAGLR*) Michigan Ontario Lakewide Program 5 None All lakes Lake Lake Huron Lake Lake Erie Lake Michigan Lake Lake Huron Lake Ontario year update Report Michigan Ontario, Superior Lake and Conference Lake Michigan Conference/workshop Michigan Conference Conference Lakewide Program All All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes All Lakes Annual Reporting to Lakes the public, BEC and workplan review SOLEC Conference Reports: Indicator Conference Reports: Indicator Conference Reports: Indicator Highlights, development Highlights, development Highlights, development State of the State of State of the Lakes the Lakes Lakes GLFC Conference Lake Lake Lake Erie Lake Lake Huron Lake Lake Ontario Lake Erie Lake Lake Huron Superior Ontario Michigan Superior Michigan BTS Reporting newsletter Progress newsletter Progress newsletter Progress newsletter Progress report report report report April 7, 2009 page 12 of 13
    • Transition Activity 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 AOC Reporting* Spanish Niagara Buffalo Fox Thunder Spanish Niagara Harbour, River, River, River/Southern Bay, Harbour, River, Saginaw Hamilton Presque Green Bay, Nipigon Saginaw Hamilton River/Bay, Harbour, Isle Kalamazoo Bay, River/Bay, Harbour, St. Marys Toronto and Bay, River, Jackfish St. Marys Toronto and River Region, Port Ashtabula Grand Bay, River Region, Port Hope River, Calumet River, Peninsula Hope Harbour, Cuyahoga Manistique Harbour Harbour, Bay of River, River, Bay of Quinte, St. Black Sheboygan Quinte, St. Lawrence River, River, Lawrence River, Maumee Menominee River, Eighteenmile River, River, Eighteenmile Creek, River Milwaukee Creek, Rochester Raisin, Estuary, Rochester Embayment, Rouge Muskegon Embayment, Oswego River, Lake, Oswego River Detroit White Lake, River River, St. Waukegan Clair Harbor River, Wheatley Harbour, Clinton River, * an example of only one reporting out venue April 7, 2009 page 13 of 13