EPA Releases Great Lakes Action Plan

Audubon Great Lakes: A win for breeding marsh birds and a response to robust Audubon member advocacy

Chicago, Ill. (October 22, 2019) – Today, the EPA released its Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan 3, which reconfirms many long-standing EPA priorities, including clean water and healthy coastal wetlands. The five-year plan also includes critical new objectives and strategies. For the first time, through collaborative conservation and monitoring at local and regional scales, the plan will specifically seek to benefit breeding marsh birds, such as rails, grebes, bitterns, black and common terns, and other species that rely on high-quality coastal wetlands.

 Nat Miller, acting executive director of Audubon Great Lakes, said:

“Because many species of breeding marsh birds are still in decline, they represent important conservation targets in and of themselves, but they also provide a barometer for the health of our coastal marshes. Audubon applauds the important work that the EPA is doing to protect and restore the Great Lakes and will continue to work closely with them and other GLRI partners to help inform marsh bird conservation through data delivery and modeling.”  

Audubon Great Lakes supports both robust federal investments and strong clean water protections as essential ingredients to successful Great Lakes restoration and protection. Last year, at partner meetings convened by the EPA to gather input, Audubon Great Lakes advocated for the lakes, birds and people of the region. In addition to the formal comments made by Audubon Great Lakes, chapters and members attended all six public meetings, made informed comments on the document and participated in a robust discussion on the importance of birds to the GLRI Action Plan via social media across the region.

“There is recognition that when Audubon members and other community stakeholders work hand-in-hand with government on restoration projects, maximum benefit occurs for wildlife and people,” said Miller. “Those same people also become long-term champions for these sites, building sustainability into the federal investments.”

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan 3 contains federal restoration priorities to clean up toxic pollution, prevent and control invasive species like Asian carp, reduce polluted runoff from cities and farms, and restore fish and wildlife habitat. The Plan was released by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in Detroit, in a ceremony on Belle Isle.

Read the full Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan 3 here:


Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of the National Audubon Society, which protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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