Public Health

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GOAL: Provide data and information aggregation tools to support policies, planning, and decision making that improves public health and supports Great Lakes water security.

MANAGEMENT AND POLICY DRIVERS: Like most coastal waters, the Great Lakes are used for recreational activities including beach visits and swimming. Unlike the other U.S. coasts, however, the Great Lakes are also a primary drinking water source for the over 40 million residents of the region. This means that water quality and monitoring are an especially important focus of observing system activities in the region.

National and regional management and policy efforts related to public health and water security are:

  • National Weather Service forecasting and hazard warning needs
  • Great Lakes Beach Association priorities and needs
  • Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
  • Local health department, water intake facility, and water department management needs
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Tools like the HABs Data Viewer and the Huron to Erie Connecting Waterways Forecasting System give resource managers better tools for decision-making in case of a biological threat like harmful algae, or in the case of an industrial spill.

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