Prioritization analysis currently underway to pinpoint important areas for future surveys

By Linden Brinks

Geospatial Analyst at the Great Lakes Observing System

Part of the Great Lakes Bottom Mapping Working Group Winter 2021 Underwater Update newsletter. Subscribe here.

Last July, a region-wide prioritization effort kicked off, reaching out to over 400 stakeholders to determine the areas in most need of lake bottom surveys, and the responses are in.  

After compiling the data from the dozens of responses from participants who were provided by lakewide action management plans (LAMPs) and the Coastal States Organization, organizers will publish a report, making the findings available to the public. The goal is that the report will help inform the location and methods for future surveys for maximum benefit to the stakeholders spanning federal, state, tribal, academic, and nonprofit organizations. 

Part of the national IWG-OCM study, this prioritization effort was funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) through the U.S. Geological Survey. The Great Lakes Observing System collected responses using the NCCOS Spatial Prioritization Widget, a participatory GIS, created by NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NOAA NCCOS).Those interested in seeing the results or in contributing to the prioritization can email Linden Brinks, GLOS Geospatial Analyst, at

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