The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a report on land cover change in the Great Lakes region. The report analyzes trends in land use change between 1996 and 2010 and the results underscore the need for programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). In these 14 years, the region lost 106 square miles of water area, 723 square miles of agriculture, and more than one thousand square miles of forest. In that time, developed areas in the region grew by more than 1,200 square miles. A concerted effort to restore wetlands, natural forest areas, and waters throughout the eight-state region has been undertaken by the GLRI. Although the impact from the GLRI has not been measured in this report, we hope future reports show the impact this program has had, improving natural areas around the Great Lakes to benefit people and wildlife.
The NOAA report on Great Lakes coastal land use change can be found here, along with reports covering other coastal areas.