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Committed to creating a new standard of care that will leave the Great Lakes better for the next generation

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative accelerates efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world – the Great Lakes. Built upon the foundation of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, GLRI answered a challenge of the governors of the Great Lakes states. Since 2010 the multi-agency GLRI has provided funding to 16 federal organizations to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward achieving long term goals:

  • Fish safe to eat
  • Water safe for recreation
  • Safe source of drinking water
  • All Areas of Concern delisted
  • Harmful/nuisance algal blooms eliminated
  • No new self-sustaining invasive species
  • Existing invasive species controlled
  • Native habitat protected and restored to sustain native species

GLRI Action Plan II, developed with input from states, tribes, local governments, universities, business, and others, outlines how GLRI Federal agencies target their activities during Fiscal Years 2015 through 2019 to accelerate environmental progress in five Focus Areas:

  • Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern
  • Invasive Species
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Impacts on Nearshore Health
  • Habitats and Species
  • Foundations for Future Restoration Actions

GLRI Action Plan III - EPA and its federal partners are in the process of developing Action Plan III, which will outline priorities and goals for the GLRI for 2020-2024.  Having now concluded a series of public engagement sessions, EPA expects to request additional public input when it releases a draft Action Plan.

Recent News

  • Cuyahoga River AOC “Fish & Wildlife Consumption” Beneficial Use Impairment Removed

    Fish in the Cuyahoga River
    Fish in the Cuyahoga River (OEPA—"Celebrating the Comeback of the Burning River, 1969-2019” video)

    (March 22, 2019) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state, and local partners continue to make progress in restoring Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs). With support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the “Restriction on Fish & Wildlife Consumption” Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) has been removed from the Cuyahoga River AOC. This is the second BUI to be removed from the Cuyahoga River AOC. Removal of the “Restriction on Fish & Wildlife Consumption” BUI does not necessarily mean that consumption advisories have been removed from the river or the AOC, but that it is comparable to a reference site and/or the open lake. Although consumption advisories are still in place for the Cuyahoga River AOC, significant progress has been made to improving the health of the river.

  • 2nd Annual Black River Area of Concern Summit today in Lorain, Ohio.

    Heron rookerty
    Heron rookery within the Black River Area of Concern. After the implementation of several GLRI projects adjacent to the rookery, it is thriving and home to over 300 nests

    (March 21, 2019) The 2nd Annual Black River Summit, hosted by the Black River Advisory Committee, will take place today at the Antlers Grand Ballroom at 300 Washington Avenue, Lorain, Ohio. The Black River Summit is free, open to the public, and intended to provide community outreach and transparency on the restoration projects and the status of the lower Black River. A clean and healthy river is vital to the community and economy, and this Summit is an informative opportunity to engage the community and stakeholders on the progress toward delisting this Area of Concern. Chris Korleski, Director of the Great Lakes National Program Office will be a presenter during the program.

  • Illinois launches grant program to market Asian carp products

    (March 18, 2019) The Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently launched the Market Value Grant Program. It offers up to $8,000 to fish processors and product makers for marketing their Asian carp products. Such efforts have been identified as a useful method to encourage removal of these fish from Illinois waterways. This program is part of a collaboration of IDNR with U.S. EPA and federal partners in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.