The Great Lakes are integral to the economic and cultural vitality of Michigan. However, their health is threatened by toxic contaminants, outdated sewage infrastructure, invasive species and a lack of coordinated conservation efforts. Restoration is critical to keeping the region environmentally and economically viable.

Restoration projects throughout the region are targeted to improve fishing, birding, hunting and swimming for Michigan residents and tourists. In addition, restoration will likely raise property values around Areas of Concern (e.g., Saginaw Bay) and reduce the costs of municipal water treatment. Learn more about the projects by exploring the links to the left.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The Great Lakes received $475 million for restoration efforts in 2010, as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, or GLRI. Since then, Michigan Sea Grant has been awarded more than $2 million to help restore particular areas in the region and is leading several projects while assisting on many others. The projects focus on endangered fish, invasive species, beach contamination, water pollution and sound boating and marina operations.

Projects led by Michigan Sea Grant

  • Restoring Native Fish Habitat in the St. Clair River
    New underwater reefs are being constructed in order to encourage native fish reproduction, like lake whitefish, walleye and lake sturgeon. Studies before and after construction will allow biologists to evaluate the impact of the work and improve future habitat restoration efforts.
    See: Fish Restoration Projects
  • Green Marina Education and Outreach
    Clean Marina programs in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin focused a plan to reduce pollution from boating and marina activities throughout the region. The project partners also have established uniform certification standards that can be applied to marinas throughout the Great Lakes and beyond. The project, which has received continued funding from additional supporters, will also help more marinas in completing certification.
    See: Great Lakes Clean Marina Network

Partner Projects

Michigan Sea Grant also collaborates on projects led by other organizations.

  • Outreach to Reduce the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Expanding Vessel-based Education Programs
  • Protecting Lake St. Clair Marshes
    See: Marsh Restoration Project
  • Beach Information Communication System
  • Laser Technology for Tracking Beach Contaminants

Out of the Blue Features Michigan Sea Grant

Faculty, researchers and students from the UM School of Natural Resources and Environment are working as key collaborators on a Michigan Sea Grant restoration project. One component: measuring the health of the waters by close observation of Lake Sturgeon. See: Video

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