Great Lakes ERMA adds to ERMA coverage in other regions around the nation, and focuses on coastal areas in the Great Lakes Basin from Minnesota to New York and from Ontario to Quebec in Canada. It integrates both static and real-time data from NOAA and other partners into a centralized, easy-to-use format. By combining environmental contaminant data from NOAA's Great Lakes Query Manager database with ecological, recreational, cultural, and commercial information, resource managers can compare environmental conditions over time and between locations.
ERMA helps to illustrate progress in cleaning up contaminated sediment and restoring the health of the Great Lakes, both across the basin and in Areas of Concern -- the areas identified by the U.S. and Canada as polluted and in need of cleanup and restoration. As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, NOAA developed Great Lakes ERMA, in collaboration with EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, and University of New Hampshire. In addition to addressing environmental cleanup and restoration under the initiative, Great Lakes ERMA also improves planning, communication, and coordination for emergency responses to pollution incidents, such as oil and chemical spills. It integrates information from a variety of sources into a common picture, which can provide the response team with a quick visualization of the situation.