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Water: Planning

FY 2012 NWPG Great Lakes Measure Definitions

 

Measure Code: GL-433.N11

Measure Language: Improve the overall ecosystem health of the Great Lakes by preventing water pollution and protecting aquatic ecosystems.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Index: A calculated number that represents an overall quality or condition based on a series of other, discrete measurements.  The index has no units (e.g., pounds, acres, concentration, etc.), but its numeric position on a scale provides a relative assessment of "good" or "bad" conditions.

Methodology for computation of results: The Great Lakes Index uses assessments of the condition of eight ecosystem indicators (i.e., coastal wetlands, phosphorus concentrations, Areas of Concern (AOC) sediment contamination, benthic health, fish tissue contamination, beach closures, drinking water quality, and air toxics deposition) to evaluate the overall condition of the Great Lakes.  For each indicator, a rating from 1 (poor) to 5 (good) is assigned, based on predetermined numeric criteria.  The scores for the eight indicators are then summed to create the index score. This results in an overall "universe" of a 40 point scale.

Measures under EPA's Great Lakes annual performance goal assess the overall progress U.S. environmental programs are making in protecting and restoring the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Improvements in the index and measures would indicate that fewer toxics are entering the food chain; ecosystem and human health is better protected; fish are safer to eat; water is safer to drink; and beaches are safer for swimming.

Units: Points on the scale

Universe: 40 point scale

Baseline: 21.5 points on the 40 point scale (FY 2005)

Great Lakes Measure


Measure Code: GL-SP29

Measure Language: Cumulative percentage decline for the long term trend in average concentrations of PCBs in Great Lakes fish.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: PCBs are polychlorinated biphenyls, a type of contaminant. 

Methodology for computation of results: This measure is part of the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program (GLFMSP).  The Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) is the principal source of data for the GLFMSP.  The Program was created to: (1) determine time trends in contaminant concentrations, (2) assess impacts of contaminants on the fishery using fish as biomonitors, and (3) assess potential risk to the wildlife that consumes contaminated fish.  The Open Trend Monitoring portion of the Program includes  data from ten 600-700 mm lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) whole fish composites (5 fish in each composite) from each of the lakes and are collected during spawning between September and October of each calendar year.  Since sufficient lake trout are not found in the western basin of Lake Erie, data for 400 – 500 mm whole walleye (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) are used for that Lake. Each Great Lake is a unique environment with a distinct growth rate, food web, and chemical integrity.  For this reason, a direct comparison of annual concentrations between basins is not appropriate.  However, a basin-wide cumulative percent decline from the year 2000 can be determined using an exponential decrease function on all data between 2000 and the most recent data available.  The variability in the data is caused by the intra-lake uniqueness of each lake trout and walleye community.

A percent decrease of total PCB concentration in whole fish can be calculated and compared to the  reduction target to determine if the target has been met.  Each year, a site mean for total PCBs are calculated in each lake, for a total of 5 data points.  These data are plotted over time on the same graph ,  with each year containing 5 data points.  An exponential decrease is then found for the entire data set and the percent decrease is calculated from the best fit line.  The EPA Great Lakes National Program Office rounds the calculated value to the nearest whole percentage for reporting and comparison purposes.  The Program collects and monitors contaminants in Great Lakes fish at alternating locations throughout the Great Lakes Basin; fish are collected at one set of sites during even years and at another set in odd years. This portion of the Program has been collecting and measuring contaminants in the same sites at the same time of year annually starting in 1972 in Lake Michigan and in 1977 for the remaining lakes. 

In FY 2012, the database will contain quality reviewed field data from fish collected in 2010 and all quality reviewed analytical data for fish collected between 1972 and 2010. Data collected in 2010 is expected to be able to be used for reporting in 2012. Data are reported approximately 6 – 8 months after collection  and are specific to the even or odd year sampling schedule (even year sites are only compared to other even year sites etc.)

Units: Decline in PCBs

Universe: n/a: The universe represents all that is likely possible to protect, restore and enhance.

Baseline: 0% (FY 2000)


Measure Code: GL-SP31

Measure Language: Number of Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes where all management actions necessary for delisting have been implemented (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

o    An Areas of Concern (AOC) de-listing indicates that all management and on the ground actions that need to be taken have been implemented at the AOC.  While these actions may not result in an immediate reduction of the impairment, over time these actions will result in monitored results allowing the BUIs to be removed and the AOC delisted.

o    Great Lakes AOCs are severely degraded geographic areas within the Basin. They are defined by the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (Annex 2 of the 1987 Protocol) as "geographic areas that fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the agreement where such failure has caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use of the area's ability to support aquatic life." Additional information is available at: http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/index.html 

Methodology for computation of results: This measure uses information from the Great Lakes National Program Office.  Of the universe of 31 U.S. and Bi-national Areas of Concern, none were restored and de-listed in the baseline year of 2005.  One has been de-listed since then, in 2006, thus the cumulative total is 1.  De-listing of an AOC requires a determination that all beneficial uses at the AOC are not impaired.  Each AOC may have up to 14 beneficial use impairments (BUI).

Units: Areas of Concern (AOCs)

Universe: 31 AOCs that are likely possible to protect, restore and enhance.

Baseline: 1 AOC (FY 2005)


 

Measure Code: GL-SP32.N11

Measure Language: Cubic yards (in millions) of contaminated sediment remediated in the Great Lakes (cumulative from 1997).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Methodology for computation of results: This measure totals the cumulative volume of contaminated sediments remediated in the Great Lakes basin since 1997, the first year for which this information was collected. The Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) collects sediment remediation data from various State and Federal project managers across the Great Lakes region that conduct and coordinate contaminated sediments work.  These data are obtained directly from the project manager via an information fact sheet the project manager completes for any site in the Great Lakes basin (primarily rivers and harbors) that has performed any remedial work on contaminated sediment. The data collected to track sediment remediation in the Great Lakes basin show the amount of sediment remediated (dredged, capped, other) for that year, the amount of sediment remediated in prior years, and the amount of sediment remaining to be addressed for a particular site.

Data tracking of sediment remediation is compiled in two different formats.  The first is a matrix that shows the annual and cumulative totals of contaminated sediment that were remediated in the Great Lakes basin in the reporting year and from 1997 for each Area of Concern or other non-Areas of Concern with sediment remediation.  The second format depicts the yearly and cumulative totals on a calendar year basis graphically.  These databases are reported approximately one year after the completion of work, thus, results from calendar year 2011 remediation will be reported in FY 2012.

GLNPO first sums the data as reported by the individual project managers (after converting all volumes into cubic yards, if necessary) and then rounds the total. The yearly volume total is rounded to the nearest one thousand cubic yard and the cumulative volume total is rounded to the nearest one hundred thousand cubic yard.  

Units: Million cubic yards

Universe: The universe of contaminated sediments requiring remediation in the Great Lakes is believed to have been approximately 46.5 million cubic yards in 1997.

Baseline: 3.7 million cubic yards cumulative total in calendar year 2004 (reported FY 2005).


 Measure Code: GL-05

Measure Language: Number of beneficial use impairments removed within Areas of Concern. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition Please see additional information available at: http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/index.html

Terms and phrases: 

o    An impaired beneficial use means a change in the chemical, physical or biological integrity of the Great Lakes system sufficient to cause any of the following:  

·         restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption;
·         tainting of fish and wildlife flavor;
·         degradation of fish wildlife populations;
·         fish tumors or other deformities;
·         bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems;
·         degradation of benthos;
·         restrictions on dredging activities;
·         eutrophication or undesirable algae;
·         restrictions on drinking water consumption, or taste and odor problems;
·         beach closings;
·         degradation of aesthetics;
·         added costs to agriculture or industry;
·         degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations; or
·         loss of fish and wildlife habitat.
 

o    Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) are severely degraded geographic areas within the Basin. They are defined by the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (Annex 2 of the 1987 Protocol) as "geographic areas that fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the agreement where such failure has caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use of the area's ability to support aquatic life." Additional information is available at: http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/index.html

Methodology for computation of results: This measure tracks the cumulative total Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) removed within the 26 Areas of Concern (AOC) located entirely within the United States and the 5 AOCs that are shared by both the United States and Canada.  The States work with the local stakeholders in the AOC to develop delisting criteria for the impaired BUIs. The BUI de-listing criteria are used to assess when a BUI is restored and can be de-listed. After all BUIs in an AOC are de-listed, the entire AOC can be de-listed.

Restoration of U.S. or Bi-national AOCs will ultimately be measured by the removal of all beneficial use impairments, leading to de-listing of all of the U.S. or Bi-national AOCs.  A total of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern have been identified: 26 located entirely within the United States; 12 located wholly within Canada; and 5 that are shared by both countries. 30 United States or Bi-national Areas of Concern remain. Remedial Action Plans for each of these AOCs address one or more of the 14 beneficial use impairments associated with these areas.

Units: Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs)

Universe: At the end of FY 2006, there was a total universe of 261 beneficial use impairments reported in the 31 United States or Bi-national Areas of Concern

Baseline: The baseline was the total of 11 beneficial use impairments (FY 2005) that had been removed


Measure Code: GL-06

Measure Language: Number of aquatic nonnative species newly detected in the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013 

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:  Aquatic nonnative (non-indigenous) species includes aquatic, wetland, and coastal species. More than 180 species now exist in the Great Lakes,causing the degradation of habitat and adverse impact on native species and the food webs. 

Methodology for computation of results:  The Great Lakes have a long history of aquatic nonindigenous species (ANS) introductions – both intentional and unintentional. A number of ongoing federal programs are working to reduce the rate of introductions. The increased effort to address invasive species through GLRI funding will reduce the rate of introductions. During the ten-year period prior to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (2000-2009), thirteen new invasive species were discovered within the Great Lakes. This is a baseline rate of invasion of 1.3 species per year. Changes in the rate will be assessed by extending this cumulative average into the time period of the GLRI (2000-present).   

This methodology assumes that the detection of invasive species in the environment correlates with actual invasion rates. It is recognized that there can be lag time in discovery (discussed in more detail under error estimate). This performance measure also assumes that rate of detection is directly reflective of the GLRI effort. Because the Great Lakes ecosystem receives the input of a number of vectors that introduce invasive species -- including, live organisms in commerce, canals/waterways, ballast water, and recreational and resource users activities -- the results of the GLRI effort cannot be measured independently from the suite of other ongoing programs at work in the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS) functions as a Great Lakes specific node of the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) national database. Information entered for GLANSIS automatically appears in NAS. GLANSIS provides targeted access to the information – especially collection records – for established Great Lakes nonindigenous species in the NAS Database. The list of aquatic nonindigenous species found via GLANSIS is subject to constant revision based on the following criteria:  (a) Geographic criterion, (b) Aquatic criterion, (c) Nonindigenous criterion, and (d) Established criterion.

Units: Number of Species, Average species/year

Universe: 181 non-native species detected in the Great Lakes basin. 

Baseline: 1.3 species/year is the starting rate of invasion (FY 2009).


Measure Code: GL-07

Measure Language: Number of multi-agency rapid response plans established, mock exercises to practice responses carried out under those plans, and/or actual response actions (cumulative).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:  

o    Multi-agency rapid response plans are location-specific or species-specific plans that describe how multiple government agencies will initiate surveillance activities to detect new Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) and establish the capacity, methods and contingency plans for a rapid response. The principle plans supporting these actions are the State ANS Management Plans created under the Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control Act. State ANS Management Plans are approved by the (National) Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force as a requirement to obtain funding under Section 1204 of the ANSPCA. Implementation of these State ANS Plans will result in a comprehensive multi-state agency program to address the problems caused by aquatic invasive species. Joint planning will allow the mobilization of shared resources to create the best opportunity for eradicating species before they become established.

o    Mock exercises range from "table top" discussions to fully-simulated drills in which individuals and agencies establish appropriate responses to a fictional scenario. Mock exercises provide a cost-effective method for testing response plans in advance of an actual detection of an invasive species.

o    Response actions are those intended to eradicate a population of invasive species or reduce the population to as close to zero as possible so that the population cannot become established and self-sustaining. Response actions can push back the front line of invasion; remove strategic pockets of an infestation, and/or target removal efforts at an ecologically and/or economically significant area.

o    Rapid is defined in the context of the specific species and the ecology of the invasion site. In contrast to chemical emergencies in which response occurs in a matter of days or hours, biological response actions may occur within days or months and, in rare cases, several years after detection. The criteria for "rapid" refers to the response taking place before the species can become widely established. Biological response actions are typically complex and require the consideration of not just the removal of invasive species, but also the protection and/or minimization of damage to the native resources within the invasion site. As a result, natural resource managers spend a significant amount of time planning before mobilization and responding to new invasions. Species with slower growth rates, invasion sites with lower productivity, and/or the initial containment of invasion sites can provide for additional time for planning strategic and efficient response actions.  

Methodology for computation of results:  The cumulative total number plans developed and exercises/actions conduced will be calculated by simple summation using the GLRI Accountability System database.  This database will be developed pending approval of Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), currently in public comment phase. [EPA ICR No. 2379.01, OMB Control No. 2005–NEW].  As a condition of GLRI Interagency Agreements, Federal Agencies are required to track performance and submit data to EPA on this measure including work performed via subsequent contracting and granting arrangements.

Units: Number of Multi-agency rapid response plans. Number of rapid response exercises or actions.

Universe: n/a: The universe represents all rapid response plans that could be done and all exercises/actions which may be done in the Great Lakes. It is not practical to develop these numbers.

Baseline: 0 Plans, 0 response exercises/actions (FY 2009)


Measure Code: GL-08

Measure Language: Percent of days of the beach season that the Great Lakes beaches monitored by state beach safety programs are open and safe for swimming.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported 

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:  STORET is EPA's database on water quality data collected from federal and state agencies that monitor various water systems

Methodology for computation of results:  The data collected to track beach advisories and closures in the Great Lakes show the number of days that the water quality at each monitored beach exceeds bacterial standards (>235 E. coli cfu/100 ml of water) throughout the beach season (typically Memorial Day through Labor Day).  EPA calculates the total available beach days and the number of beach days with advisories or closures to track trends over time.  EPA summarizes the previous swimming season's results and reports the information each year (around Memorial Day).  The report lists the number of beaches with notification actions, duration of notification actions, and what percentage of days the beaches were under a notification action. 

This format is suitable for year-to-year comparisons for individual beaches; however, it is not as useful for comparing water quality among other Great Lakes beaches.  Monitoring frequencies vary among states and local entities from between once a week to seven days a week, so the minimally monitored beaches may appear to have better water quality. 

Local beach program and advisory data are stored in EPA's PRAWN (Program tracking, beach advisory water quality standards, and nutrient) database. Beach water quality data is stored in EPA's STORET database. Historical beach swimming season data can be viewed in EPA's BEACON database (Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification system), which can be accessed at: http://oaspub.epa.gov/waters10/beacon_national_page.mainExit EPA Disclaimer  EPA collects coastal beach monitoring and notification data from States that receive BEACH Act grants to implement beach monitoring and notification programs.  These data are obtained directly from the Great Lakes beach managers who submit their data to their state beach program managers throughout the beach season.  The state beach managers then send the data electronically to EPA by January 31 of each year, as required by the BEACH Act.

Units: Percentage of available beach days

Universe: 100%.  The universe represents all Great Lakes beaches whose water quality is monitored by a state agency.

Baseline: 94% (FY 2009).

Great Lakes Measure


Measure Code: GL-09

Measure Language: Acres managed for populations of invasive species controlled to a target level (cumulative).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:   

o    Acres managed is total geographic area addressed by a management action, recognizing that most invasive species infestations will vary in their percent coverage.

o    Invasive species refer to nonnative species that tend to overtake and exclude native species. During typical restoration efforts, invasive species are specifically targeted along with other nonnative species, so that native species are restored.

o    Target level is the end-state desired by management agencies. The typical goal of management at site-specific locations is to reduce invasive species to levels as close to zero as possible. There may be limitations given the control techniques available for the targeted species. More extensive species-specific management programs, such as the Sea Lamprey control program, have regional targets for eradication.

Methodology for computation of results:  The cumulative total number acres will be calculated by simple summation using the GLRI Accountability System database. This database will be developed pending approval of Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), currently in public comment phase. [EPA ICR No. 2379.01, OMB Control No. 2005–NEW].  As a condition of GLRI Interagency Agreements, Federal Agencies are required to track performance and submit data to USEPA on this measure including work performed via subsequent contracting and granting arrangements.

Units: Acres

Universe: n/a: the universe represents all possible acres which could be treated in the Great Lakes.

Baseline: 0 (FY 2009)


Measure Code: GL-10

Measure Language: Percent of populations of native aquatic non-threatened and endangered species self-sustaining in the wild (cumulative).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Methodology for computation of results:  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Fisheries Information System (FIS), a component of the Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) maintains the performance database for this measure. The Service's Fisheries Program is the principal source of data for the FIS.  Cooperating organizations include other federal agencies, states, Tribes, and non-governmental partners that assist with population assessment and monitoring. 

The FIS Populations Module provides information on what is known about populations of aquatic species (i.e., status, trend, geographic location, management plans, etc.) and has broad scientific utility.  Population data are updated annually in FIS to reflect most recent population and habitat assessment information, and are reported on an annual basis (September of the fiscal year) to the Department of the Interior, Office of Management and Budget, and Congress in the Service's Operational Plan.

Units: Native aquatic non-threatened and endangered species

Universe: 147. The universe represents all that is likely possible to protect, restore, and enhance native aquatic non-threatened and endangered species.

Baseline: 39/147 (27%) (FY 2009)


Measure Code: GL-11

Measure Language: Number of acres of wetlands and wetland-associated uplands protected, restored and enhanced (cumulative). 

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Methodology for computation of results:  EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) will track the cumulative total of acres of wetlands and wetland-associated uplands protected, restored and enhanced at the end of each Fiscal Year beginning in Fiscal Year 2010.  

Internal tracking and communications with the following federal agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Service (USGS), Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), U.S.D.A. Forest Service (FS), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA).

Each agency mentioned (in the paragraph above), will provide information about cumulative wetlands and wetland-associated upland acres protected, restored and enhanced by agency staff, grantees, and contractors. Information will be input to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Accountability Database. GLNPO will compile and distill information into a yearly GLRI report.

Units: Acres of wetlands and associated uplands

Universe: 550,000. The universe represents all acres of wetlands and wetland-associated uplands that are likely possible to protect, restore and enhance.

Baseline: 0 (FY 2005)


Measure Code: GL-12

Measure Language: Number of acres of coastal, upland, and island habitats protected, restored and enhanced (cumulative). 

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Methodology for computation of results:  EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) will track the cumulative total of acres of coastal, upland, and island habitats protected, restored and enhanced at the end of each Fiscal Year beginning in Fiscal Year 2010.  Internal tracking and communications with the following federal agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Service (USGS), Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), U.S.D.A. Forest Service (FS), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA).  Each agency mentioned (here) will provide information about cumulative coastal, upland, and island habitats acres protected, restored and enhanced by agency staff, grantees, and contractors. Information will be input to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Accountability Database. GLNPO will compile and distill information into a yearly GLRI report.  

Units: Acres of coastal, upland and island habitats  

Universe: 1,000,000. The universe represents all acres of coastal, upland and island habitats that are likely possible to protect, restore, and enhance.

Baseline: 0 acres of coastal, upland and island habitats (FY 2005).


Measure Code: GL-13     

Measure Language: Number of species delisted due to recovery.  

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported  

Measure Contact:  Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013  

Measure Definition  

Methodology for computation of results:  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS) and Recovery Online Activity Reporting system (ROAR) are both components of the Service's Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) (see reference below).   Databases provide current reports of all federally listed animals and plants, as well as recovery plan information (i.e., plan access, action status, etc.) The Service's Endangered Species Program is the principal source of data. Cooperating organizations include other federal agencies, states, Tribes, and non-governmental partners that assist implementation of recovery actions. Before a plant or animal species can receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, it must first be placed on the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. To delist a species, the Service is legally required to determine that threats have been eliminated or controlled, based on several factors including population sizes and trends and the stability of habitat quality and quantity. The number of species delisted are reported annually in ECOS (September of the fiscal year) and to the Department of the Interior, Office of Management and Budget, and Congress in the Service's Operational Plan. The numbers of species delisted are reported as a cumulative metric. Delisting determinations are based on several complex factors (see reference), including annual and cumulative.  

Units: Number of species delisted due to recovery  

Universe: 28 species possible to delist due to recovery. 

Baseline: 0 species delisted (FY 2005).


Measure Code: GL-15

Measure Language: Five-year average annual loadings of soluble reactive phosphorus (metric tons per year) from tributaries draining targeted watersheds.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

o    Soluble reactive phosphorus includes the dissolved forms of phosphorus compounds that are readily absorbed and used by algae and other aquatic plants. Total phosphorus also includes forms of phosphorus that are attached to particles such as clay.

o    Targeted watersheds are those that contribute large quantities of phosphorus to the waters of the Great Lakes, thereby contributing to the nuisance growth of algae or other degraded conditions.  The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan specifically references the watersheds for the following rivers: St. Louis River (Lake Superior), Saginaw River (Lake Huron), Fox River (Lake Michigan), Maumee River (Lake Erie), and Genesee River (Lake Ontario).

o    Metric tonne: 1000 kg; 2,200 lbs

Methodology for computation of results: The U.S. Geological Survey collects real-time, near-real-time, and synoptic flow and water-quality data from tributaries to the Great Lakes.  Surface water-quality data are entered into the National Water Information System.  Data are available from the web portal at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis Exit EPA Disclaimer Near-real-time concentrations and loads will be modeled using watershed models coupled with real-time flow and water-quality data. The resulting capability will provide recent and real-time data to estimate current nutrient loadings and to forecast loadings from the targeted watersheds to the Great Lakes. 

Units: Metric tons per year of soluble reactive phosphorus

Universe: n/a

Baseline:  5-year flow-weighted average 2003-2007, metric tonnes/yr:            
Fox River: 212            
Saginaw River: 133            
Maumee River: 623            
Genesee River: 85 (2006-2007)            
St. Louis River: TBD


Measure Code: GL-16

Measure Language: Acres in Great Lakes watershed with USDA conservation practices implemented to reduce erosion, nutrients, and/or pesticide loading.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Michael Russ, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

russ.michael@epa.gov | (312) 886-4013

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

o    NRCS: Natural Resources Conservation Service, an Agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture.

o    Farm Bill: The 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008) contained 15 titles covering support for commodity crops, horticulture and livestock, conservation, nutrition, trade and food aid, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, energy, forestry, and other related programs. It also included tax-related provisions and some new spending initiatives. The bill succeeds the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) and guides most federal farm and food policies through FY2012. The farm bill undergoes review and reauthorization roughly every five years.

o    EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentives Program.  This Farm Bill program offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.  The practices are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions.

o    CTA: Conservation Technical Assistance. This Farm Bill program provides technical assistance supported by science-based technology and tools to help people conserve, maintain, and improve their natural resources, including direct conservation planning, design and implementation assistance.

Methodology for computation of results Using NRCS's Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), NRCS will work directly with agricultural producers to install conservation practices on their operations to reduce soil erosion and nutrient loading to waters of the Great Lakes basin.  Annual compilation of acres in Great Lakes watersheds with EQIP and CTA conservation practices implemented will provide the measure of effectiveness of the programs.

Units: Acres in Great Lakes basin watershed

Universe: n/a

Baseline: 165,000 acres

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