The restoration, protection and sustainable use of the Great Lakes is of utmost concern to the region's residents, officials and resource managers in all levels of government, and environmental stewards in both the United States and Canada. Building on years of research, monitoring and planning, the region came together in 2005 and developed the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes. The Strategy was developed with input from more than 1,500 stakeholders and identifies priorities, defines problems, outlines solutions, and provides clear goals and objectives for measuring progress in cleaning up the Great Lakes. The Strategy is accepted by state and federal agencies, business and industry, and environmental organizations as the primary blueprint for restoring the Great Lakes.
Early in 2009, President Obama released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 which includes a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Initiative will accelerate Great Lakes restoration by investing $475 million to confront some of the most serious threats to the region, including invasive species, nonpoint source pollution and toxic sediments. The Initiative represents a significant down payment on a multiyear effort to fully implement the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration restoration strategy.
An investment in Great Lakes restoration will help with other efforts to reinvigorate the economy of a region especially hard hit by recent downturns in the global economy. In the Great Lakes region, freshwater and access to the lakes are intertwined with economic activity and are fundamental to our future. The Brookings Institution has estimated that implementing the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy will generate $50 billion in long-term benefits.
This section on GLIN offers a quick reference guide to the various restoration programs and campaigns currently underway at the regional, national and binational levels.
General Resources EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative U.S. Environmental Protection Agency This U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office webpage provides up-to-date information on the President's budget proposal to allocate $475 million towards an EPA-led interagency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Great Lakes Restoration and Protection Council of Great Lakes Governors The Council of Great Lakes Governors is a non-partisan partnership between the Governors of the eight Great Lakes States and the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec to facilitate the advancement of strategic alliances within the region for the continued protection of the environment and the ongoing development of a world-class regional economy. In 2003, the Council identified Priorities for the Protection and Restoration of the Great Lakes which subsequently provided the framework for the GLRC Strategy. The website also contains links to external communications by the Council.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. A task force of 11 federal agencies developed an action plan to implement the initiative. This website features the GLRI Action Plan, a list of GLRI Task Force member organizations, an interactive map of GLRI projects, specific project highlights, grantee information, and more useful resources regarding this important initiative.
Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives Healing Our Waters®-Great Lakes Coalition The Healing Our Waters®- Great Lakes Coalition (HOW) is a coalition of over 100 non-profit organization and academic institutions leading restoration and protection efforts in the Great Lakes. Its website contains a variety of information regarding the Lakes, protection efforts, and legislative and policy initiatives.
Great Lakes Congressional Task Force Northeast-Midwest Institute The bipartisan task force promotes appropriation and authorization bills to enhance environmental quality and economic development throughout the Great Lakes basin. The website contains information about the task force activities including appropriations letters and Congressional briefings.
Great Lakes Legislative Priorities Tracking: Great Lakes Restoration Great Lakes Information Network This web-based tool to provides up-to-date information on Great Lakes legislative priorities. The site offers a searchable database of current restoration priorities and related legislation, news updates, announcements of hearings and briefings, and information about members of the Great Lakes Congressional Delegation, including bills they've sponsored, maps of congressional districts and much more.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is an independent binational coalition of mayors and other local officials working to advance to the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The USFWS Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team is comprised of participation by the 43 field stations in the Great Lakes ecosystem and represent a range of Service programs that work to restore and protect the Nation's trust resources, including migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, and interjurisdictional fisheries.
Great Lakes Commission Legislative Priorities Great Lakes Commission The Great Lake's Commission's annual legislative priorities document recommendations for protecting and restoring the Great Lakes; the website also contains links to facts sheets on specific restoration topics.
Great Lakes Economic Initiative The Brookings Institution The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, in partnership with a network of academic, public policy, business and civic organizations, began a multi-year research and policy development initiative in 2005 to improve the economic vitality of the Great Lakes region. This website provides information and reports related to economic development and environmental restoration in the region.
Great Lakes Habitat Implementation Plan U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Through the Energy & Water Appropriations Act of 2006, the Corps of Engineers set aside $1 million to develop an implementation plan for site-specific actions to protect, restore and manage aquatic habitat in the Great Lakes Basin that builds upon the Strategy of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.
Great Lakes Legislative Caucus The Great Lakes Legislative Caucus is a nonpartisan group of state and provincial lawmakers who are committed to promoting the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes. The Caucus tracks both Federal and State Great Lakes legislation and contains a comprehensive list of Congressional and state legislative representatives whose districts lie in the Basin.
Great Lakes Restoration Campaign National Wildlife Federation Along with other collaborators, NWF is currently engaged in a national campaign to convince Congress and the President to enact a comprehensive restoration plan for the Great Lakes. Their website has updates on their campaign work as well as fact sheets and educational materials for the general public.
Michigan's Great Lakes Protection and Restoration Initiative Michigan Department of Environmental Quality In response to the economic and environmental imperative for protecting the Great Lakes, the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes is leading an effort to prepare and implement a Michigan Great Lakes Plan (MI-Great Lakes Plan) to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes for current and future generations. This webpage Contain links to the MI-Great Lakes Plan and other information related to the protection and restoration of Michigan waterways and the Great Lakes.
Sustain our Great Lakes Grant Program National Fish and Wildlife Foundation This program provides grants to organizations working to protect, restore or enhance the habitat for fish wildlife and plants of the Great Lakes watershed
Wisconsin's Great Lakes Strategy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources The Wisconsin DNR Office of Great Lakes is drafting a Wisconsin Great Lakes Restoration and Protection Strategy to serve as the vehicle for coordinating and allocating resources for Great Lakes restoration.
Our Great Lakes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada A recent binational update on the health of the Great Lakes takes a plain-language approach to a complex set of issues, and frames these with a lake-loving readership's key concerns foremost in mind.