ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A program intended to monitor the effectiveness of Great Lakes protection efforts has established goals and ways to measure progress toward achieving them.

The Blue Accounting Initiative grew out of a 2013 conference of governors and premiers from the region’s states and Canadian provinces. They agreed a system was needed to determine whether the billions of dollars devoted to Great Lakes protection were being well spent.

The Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy operate the initiative.

The goals they announced Thursday include protecting drinking water sources from excessive nutrients and emerging contaminants; making sure public water systems have up-to-date management and spill prevention systems; and building regional agreement on other strategies for protecting source waters.

The initiative is looking for local success stories as examples others could follow.