Michigan Sea Grant – At the Heart of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, and their connecting channels – form the largest surface fresh water system on earth. Michigan is at the heart of that system, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. Through research, education and outreach, Michigan Sea Grant is dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of the Great Lakes and coastal resources.

Who We Are

Michigan Sea Grant, a cooperative program of the University of Michigan (UM) and Michigan State University (MSU), is part of the National Sea Grant College Program. The UM School for Environment and Sustainability and the MSU Extension Greening Institute provide matching funds to carry out programs in Michigan.


National Network

Michigan Sea Grant is part of a national network of more than 30 university-based Sea Grant programs in coastal states across the country, administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Each Sea Grant program has three components: research, education and outreach.

Michigan Sea Grant supports a variety of research projects led by research teams based at universities in Michigan. The program also supports extension educators located in coastal communities and communications specialists that support public outreach. Education efforts highlight information about Michigan’s coastal Great Lakes areas.

Learn more about NOAA’s activities in the Great Lakes:

NOAA_logo_color     National Sea Grant logo

What We Do

Our programs promote better understanding, conservation and use of Michigan’s coastal resources. Michigan Sea Grant currently funds research, education and outreach projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of Great Lakes resources. Sea Grant also provides access to science-based information about Michigan’s coasts and the Great Lakes.

sea highways open-600px

Why We Do It

With more than 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers — water is what makes Michigan a special place. The Great Lakes are not just a “local” issue, housing about one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water supply, and nine-tenths of the U.S. supply. Environmental stewardship, sustainable economic development and responsible use of the Great Lakes are crucial components of keeping the lakes and the region vibrant.


Learn more about Great Lakes projects, tools and topics that we support.
See: Explore

How We Manage

Learn more about the mission, operations and management of Michigan Sea Grant.
See: Mission and Management

Annual reports/self-evaluation: Each year, report data is used to evaluate progress against the strategic plan, national performance measures and metrics. See: 2016 Annual Report (PDF)