Innovative Research for the Freshwater Seas:
NOAA GLERL 2012 Strategic Plan

Cover of GLERL Strategic Plan 2012Today, the Great Lakes face many challenges ranging from the impacts of invasive species on fisheries, to a decrease in ice cover, the resurgence of harmful algal blooms, and varying water levels in response to our changing climate. Like the lakes, NOAA GLERL is experiencing rapid change. Since 2009, GLERL has moved to a new facility, changed leadership, and realigned its organizational structure.

GLERL is embracing these changes as an opportunity. Since it’s founding in 1974, GLERL has provided Great Lakes decision-makers and resource managers with the information needed to anticipate and respond to ecosystem changes. The NOAA GLERL 2012 Strategic Plan, Innovative Research for the Freshwater Seas, outlines how GLERL is adapting as an organization to advance ecosystem forecasting capabilities in a time of environmental uncertainty.

GLERL research is guided by its new vision and mission:

Mission: GLERL and its partners conduct innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes to inform resource use and management decisions that lead to safe and sustainable ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human communities.

Vision: Reliable predictions of changes in interconnected natural and human systems contribute to the improved management of large lakes of the world and similar coastal ecosystems.

The success of GLERL’s mission can only be realized through collaborative partnerships with other agencies, institutions, and organizations. Cooperation leverages the expertise and resources of each partner to maximize results, to minimize overlaps, and to overcome obstacles that might limit progress. Together, we will accomplish much more in advancing understanding and conservation of the Great Lakes – our nation’s most precious freshwater resource – than we ever could alone.

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