Linking conservation practices to ecological indicators​

The strategic implementation of agricultural conservation practices is at the core of the Saginaw Bay Watershed Project.

But how much conservation is enough to actually achieve the necessary ecological outcomes? What are those outcomes? And how do we ensure that the right management practices actually get put into effect?

To begin answering these questions, TNC scientists developed computer modeling that would allow them to link conservation practices to ecological indicators—fish community health—and to set realistic goals.


Next, the Conservancy partnered with Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research (IWR) to develop a suite of online decision tools (or, outcome calculators), collectively called the Great Lakes Watershed Management System, that enable land managers to strategically target conservation practices which have been identified as having the potential to yield the greatest return on conservation investment.

Explore the following fact sheets to learn more about these projects:


Contact: Mary Fales |


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