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Ecosystem integrity in the Great Lakes Basin: an historical sketch of ideas and actions

Abstract

The concepts of ecosystem and integrity effectively entered the binational political arena in the Great Lakes Basin in the early 1970's. They were brought together explicitly in the statement of the purpose of the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The 1987 Protocol to that Agreement has helped to specify the practical meaning of ecosystem integrity of the Great Lakes Basin. The proceedings of a binational workshop in 1988, titled An Ecosystem Approach to the Integrity of the Great Lakes Basin in Turbulent Times, helped to clarify the conceptual meaning. An Ecosystem Charter for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin was proposed in 1989 to help achieve more thorough implementation of the commitment to ecosystem integrity. The evolutionary emergence of this political concept and related practice is described in the paper.

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Abbreviations

CUSIS:

Canada-U.S. Inter-University Seminar Series

LAA:

Environmental Lakes Area

EPA:

Environmental Protection Agency

GLBC:

Great Lakes Basin Commission

GLC:

Great Lakes Commission

GLER:

Great Lakes Ecosystem Rehabilitation

GLFC:

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

GLSAB:

Great Lakes Science Advisory Board

GLU:

Great Lakes United

GLWQA:

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

HASP:

Heritage Area Security Plan

IBP:

International Biological Program

IJC:

International Joint Commission

IZAP:

Inundation Zone Adaptive Plan

LAMP:

Lake-wide Management Plan

LLRS:

Lake Levels Reference Study

MAB:

Man and the Biosphere program

NEPA:

National Environmental Policy Act

PLUARG:

Pollution from Land Use Activities Reference Group

RAP:

Remedial Action Plan

SCOL:

Salmonid Communities in Oligotrophic Lakes

SGLFMP:

Strategic Great Lakes Fishery Management Plan

SPOF:

Strategic Plan for Ontario Fisheries

UNESCO:

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society. Symposium at the University of Waterloo, July 23–25, 1990.

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Regier, H.A. Ecosystem integrity in the Great Lakes Basin: an historical sketch of ideas and actions. J Aquat Ecosyst Stress Recov 1, 25–37 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00044406

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Keywords

  • Great Lakes Basin
  • ecosystem
  • rehabilitation
  • integrity