Assessing Biological Integrity 
of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands 
Using Marsh Bird and 
Amphibian Communities

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In 2001, the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Consortium (GLCWC) was established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency - Great Lakes National Program Office Great Lakes Commission in an effort to design and implement a long-term program to monitor Great Lakes coastal wetlands using wetland indicators such as marsh birds and amphibians . As part of the GLCWC initiative, this report examines the utility of Marsh Monitoring Program marsh bird and amphibian protocols for estimating the biological integrity of Great Lakes coastal wetlands by testing whether the population estimates gathered by MMP volunteers reliably indicated the amount of disturbance (urban development and agriculture) surrounding a wetland at several spatial scales. Recommendations to improve the resolution to detect biological differences between sites are included. Bird Studies Canada's Marsh Monitoring Program is committed to the continued monitoring of Great Lakes coastal wetland health.

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