May 10, 2019

LimnoTech Senior Project Engineer Todd Redder is a co-author on a paper recently published in Wetlands titled “Leveraging a Landscape-Level Monitoring and Assessment Program for Developing Resilient Shorelines throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes.” The paper documents work by Great Lakes wetland scientists who developed a regional landscape-level system to monitor and manage Great Lakes wetlands. The objective is to protect and restore coastal wetlands as an integral component of the Great Lakes ecosystem and to develop resilient shorelines. Dr. Donald Uzarski from Central Michigan University is leading this work.

Coastal wetlands are critical to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Over the past two centuries, however, these wetlands have experienced extensive degradation and loss. Recognition and appreciation by scientists, resource managers, and policy-makers of the importance of coastal wetlands, and the threats to them, brought about the realization that, despite ongoing and increasing challenges to these ecosystems, no mechanism existed to monitor the status and trends of Great Lakes coastal wetland conditions at a regional or basin-wide scale.

To address this need, the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Consortium (GLCWC), consisting of U.S. and Canadian scientists, implemented the first-ever comprehensive, basin-wide Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program (GLCWMP). The purpose of this program is to provide wetland managers and decision-makers with the tools and data to make scientifically based decisions to maintain and protect wetlands. The monitoring program is predicated on standardized methods and indicators developed by a team of Great Lakes wetland scientists to assess wetland conditions. Results from the program are allowing managers to track trends for wetlands of particular interest or to compare wetlands to one another, and to perform wetland site filtering, prioritization, and ranking for potential restoration and protection investments. It is important to note that while the CWMP was developed specifically for work in the Great Lakes coastal wetlands, the framework is transferable to other ecosystem types located throughout the world.

As part of the contributions by LimnoTech and Todd Redder to this project, Todd designed and implemented a web- and map-based Coastal Wetlands Decision Support Tool (CWDST) that allows coastal managers throughout the Great Lakes to filter, rank, and prioritize wetland sites for potential restoration or protection actions. He also designed and implemented a website and data management system to support the management, quality control, and visualization of the extensive Great Lakes coastal wetland dataset generated by the Coastal Wetlands Monitoring Program.

Contact Todd Redder at tredder@limno.com if you would like to learn more about our data management, website, or web tool development contributions to the CWMP, or how these data management and web tools can be applied to other studies.

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