The St. Marys River Watershed: Planning for Biodiversity Conservation (2009)

Client Organization: 
The Nature Conservancy
Project Location : 
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Summary of Project Idea: 

The St. Marys River is a 112 km connecting channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The river and its associated marshes, riparian areas, and upland habitats, comprise one of the most biologically diverse regions in the Great Lakes Basin, and the area was identified as a priority for conservation by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 2000. Using TNC's Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process, the master's project team identified important conservation targets, developed practical indicators to track their current and future status, identified threats to target species and ecosystems, explored opportunities for the conservation of the targets given the social, economic, political and cultural environment, and developed strategies to protect, enhance, or restore biodiversity. The team used a variety of research methods including extensive literature reviews, interviews, and focus groups with conservation professionals in the St. Marys River basin to incorporate their local and regional expertise into the project. The outcome of this project is an adaptive management plan to inform TNC's future involvement in biodiversity conservation in the St. Marys River region.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
J. David Allan
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Robyn Harris, MS Environmental Policy and Planning 
  • Brad Kinder, MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Adrienne Marino, MS Conservation Biology 
  • Vanessa Parker-Geisman, MS Conservation Biology 
  • Tamatha Patterson, MS Conservation Biology
Project Status: 
Past Project