New website will help with accountability and preservation, Great Lakes Commission says

Anyone can use the Blue Accounting data portal to track Great Lakes protection and restoration efforts. Topics include algal blooms, water quality and more.

Want to know what Michigan and other states are doing to protect the Great Lakes? A new website lets you search for data on efforts to prevent harmful algal blooms, control invasive species and more.

“There are a number of stakeholders across the Great Lakes region who are interested in the information.” —Erika Jensen, executive director of Great Lakes Commission

The Great Lakes Commission launched the Blue Accounting data portal on Feb.1. GLC Executive Director Erika Jensen says it’s a tool for elected leaders and decision-makers, but anyone can use it.

Accountability is the goal

“We recognize that there are a number of stakeholders across the Great Lakes region who are interested in the information,” she says.

Erika Jensen is the executive director of the Great Lakes Commission

“If you look at that issue, you can get data on water quality related to phosphorus and other parameters,” Jensen says. Phosphorus feeds algal blooms in western Lake Erie each summer. It comes from farm fertilizer that washes into streams and rivers flowing into the lake.

The U.S. and Canadian governments formed the Great Lakes Commission in 1955. Its mission is to protect the lakes, their ecosystems and the economies they support.

Jensen says Blue Accounting will help hold public officials accountable and inform future preservation efforts.

“They’ll be able to see how their investments are working and where there might be opportunities to innovate,” she says.

The commission has refreshed the website since launching it and will add more information to it soon.

“You’ll be seeing more about investments related to drinking water,” Jensen says. “We are also looking at coastal and climate resiliency.”

Read more: Solutions for worsening plastic pollution in Great Lakes

Jensen says she’s happy with the amount of traffic on the website since its launch.

“We’re looking for an increase in usage with the new features and new navigation we’ve added,” she says.

Jensen says the new website will help the commission coordinate efforts to protect the Great Lakes and make them more resilient for generations to come.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Pat Batcheller
    Pat Batcheller is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news, traffic and weather updates during Morning Edition. He is an amateur musician.