Applying the collective impact approach to address non-native species: a case study of the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative.
To address the invasion of non-native Phragmites in the Great Lakes, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey-Great Lakes Science Center partnered with the Great Lakes Commission in 2012 to establish the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC). The GLPC is a regional-scale partnership established to improve collaboration among stakeholders and increase the effectiveness of non-native Phragmites management and research. Rather than forming a traditional partnership with a narrowly defined goal, the GLPC follows the principles of collective impact to engage stakeholders, guide progress, and align resources to address this complex, regional challenge. In this paper, the concept and tenets of collective impact are described, the GLPC is offered as a model for other natural resource-focused collective impact efforts, and steps for establishing collaboratives are presented. Capitalizing on the interactive collective impact approach, the GLPC is moving toward a broadly accepted common agenda around which agencies and individuals will be able to better align their actions and generate measureable progress in the regional campaign to protect healthy, diverse ecosystems from damage caused by non-native Phragmites.