The Task Force was established in Executive Order 13340 in May 2004. Purposes of the Interagency Task Force include:
- advancing collaboration among the members of the Task Force and the members of the Regional Working Group, and with the Great Lakes States, local communities, tribes, regional bodies, and other interests in the Great Lakes region regarding policies, strategies, plans, programs, projects, activities, and priorities for the Great Lakes system
- coordinating the development of consistent Federal policies, strategies, projects, and priorities for addressing the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes system and assisting in the appropriate management of the Great Lakes system.
The Task Force includes:
- the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (who chairs the Task Force),
- the Secretary of State,
- the Secretary of the Interior,
- the Secretary of Agriculture,
- the Secretary of Commerce,
- the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,
- the Secretary of Transportation,
- the Secretary of Homeland Security,
- the Secretary of the Army, and
- the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality.
It generally meets one to two times a year to discuss Great Lakes priorities and advance interagency coordination and collaboration.