Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world — the Great Lakes.

During FY15 -19, federal agencies will continue to use Great Lakes Restoration Initiative resources to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward long term goals for this important ecosystem.

GLRI Action Plan II summarizes the actions that federal agencies plan to implement during FY15-19.

These actions will build on restoration and protection work carried out under the first GLRI Action Plan, with a major focus on:

  • Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern
  • Preventing and controlling invasive species
  • Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms
  • Restoring habitat to protect native species

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Find a GLRI Project

Use the map below to find GLRI project information. Or, see a list of all GLRI projects.
(Note: the points on the map show the actual location of the project and/or the location of the entity managing the project.)



Up to $26 Million Available from EPA for GLRI Projects

U.S. EPA issues a Request for Applications soliciting proposals for GLRI gratns to fund new projects to restore and protect the Gerat Lakes. Funds will be available for grants to state, tribal, interstate and local governmental agencies, institutions of higher learning and other nonprofit organizations. Applications are due Jan. 13, 2017.

Read the RFA


Low Levels of Contaminants in Great Lakes Tree Swallow Eggs

USGS scientists collected tree swallow eggs from sites across the Great Lakes in 2010-2015, including 59 sites within AOCs. Eggs were tested for pesticides and other organic contaminants that could harm bird reproduction and development. For many contaminants and locations, exposure was at background or not different from non-AOC sites. The findings, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, are valuable for wildlife managers tasked with protecting birds in the Great Lakes basin, and can be used to assess BUIs.

Read the Study


USGS Story Map for Edge-of-Field Monitoring

GLRI edge-of-field monitoring focuses on identifying and reducing agricultural sources of excess nutrients which can threaten the health of the Great Lakes. Using interactive maps, videos and imagery, a new online story map from USGS shows how edge-of-field monitoring to assesses the quantity and quality of agricultural runoff and evaluates conservation practices that aim to reduce sediment and nutrient loss.

Explore the USGS Story Map