Online tools to help find Great Lakes invasive species

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A program designed to keep policymakers up to speed on threats to the Great Lakes has created online tools to support early detection of exotic species.

Blue Accounting is an initiative led by the Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy, with help from other government agencies and private organizations.

They’ve developed a “watch list” of species poised to invade the lakes, along with priority surveillance locations and guidelines for monitoring the waters for signs of unwanted fish, plants and invertebrates.

An interactive, GIS-based tool let users explore the data behind risk calculations for locations across the Great Lakes watershed.

Using Blue Accounting’s site prioritization tool, officials can understand how local conditions affect levels of risk for species invasions and decide how to deploy resources where they’re most needed.

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