The Great Lakes of North America, located between the United States and Canada, is the world’s largest freshwater system, so conservation is crucial. Thus, to support fisheries and ecological balance in the Great Lakes, NOAA Fisheries has recommended USD 3.2 million (EUR 2.9 million) in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
The Great Lakes, given its size and characteristics, is one of the most important natural resources in the world. As such, they are the mainstay of important commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries, which have a collective value of USD 7 billion per year (EUR 6.3 billion) and generate more than 75,000 jobs. They also support industry, transportation, and tourism.
In this context, their conservation is vital. For that reason, NOAA believes this funding will boost new and ongoing projects to restore critical habitats, such as wetlands. By sustaining these valuable ecosystems, the Great Lakes will continue to provide immense benefits to the environment, communities, and industries, ensuring a prosperous future for the region.
About NOAA and The Great Lakes
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under the U.S. Department of Commerce, has a well-defined mission encompassing the understanding and prediction of climate, weather, ocean, and coastal changes. They strive to share this knowledge with others while conserving and managing coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
NOAA’s Restoration Center plays a pivotal role in supporting the Great Lakes ecosystems and economies. Since 2010, they have backed 96 projects under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, restoring over 4,900 acres of fish and wildlife habitat. Moreover, they opening more than 520 miles of rivers and streams for fish migration. These efforts have significant ecological and economic benefits, sustaining valuable fisheries and enhancing the overall well-being of the region. The Great Lakes’ status as the largest freshwater system on Earth makes their conservation vital.