A lake management framework for global application: monitoring, restoring, and protecting lakes through community engagement

Jacob A. Cianci-Gaskill* (Corresponding author), Jennifer L. Klug, Kellie C. Merrell, Edward E. Millar, Danielle J. Wain, Lilith Kramer, Dianneke van Wijk, Ma Cristina A. Paule-Mercado, Kerri Finlay, Max R. Glines, Elias M. Munthali, Sven Teurlincx, Lisa Borre, Norman D. Yan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Despite decades of management and regulation, global freshwater resources remain imperiled. Management has had mixed success in restoring degraded lakes and has few mechanisms for stopping the decline of high-quality systems. Too often, lake managers play catch-up by addressing stressors only after damage occurs or has become entrenched, or make decisions without acquiring sufficient information about how a lake might respond to proposed management actions. As a tool to address these management challenges, we propose the MoReCo (Monitoring, Restoring/Protecting, Community Engagement) lake management framework. The framework centers around community engagement, and we outline engagement mechanisms in the context of lake management. The framework includes 2 loops: a monitoring loop to detect emerging stressors, and a restoring/protecting loop to address stressors that are causing or may cause lake degradation. The MoReCo framework builds on the strengths of existing natural resource management frameworks and was developed to address the unique challenges associated with lake management and protection, as well as those resulting from climate change. Specifically, it can address multiple stressors concurrently, which makes it simultaneously suitable for ameliorating stressors while also protecting lake ecosystems. The MoReCo framework is an interactive and multidirectional process in which management occurs even when no stressor is apparent, and it incorporates explicit benchmarks for evaluating management actions and determining whether additional measures should be taken. This novel lake management framework is suitable to address any stressors that may threaten a lake ecosystem, and we present it here as a resource for those who manage freshwater resources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLake and Reservoir Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024

Research theme

  • Sustainable water and land use

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