DEQ announces 30-year vision for water

June 9, 2015

For More Information:
Jon Allan, 517-284-5035,
Karen Tommasulo, 517-284-6716,

The DEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes today released a draft water strategy built around a 30-year vision for ensuring Michigan’s water resources support healthy ecosystems, residents, communities and economies.

Key recommendations in the strategy include:
• Achieving a 40 percent reduction to phosphorus in the western Lake Erie basin
• Preventing the introduction of new aquatic invasive species and controlling established populations
• Supporting investments in commercial and recreational harbors and maritime infrastructure
• Developing a water trails system
• Accelerating water technologies to address critical water problems using an entrepreneurial, business-led initiative
• Establishing a durable water fund to achieve water strategy goals including water infrastructure management

Gov. Rick Snyder asked DEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes to lead the development of this comprehensive, ecosystem-based strategy for water. The Office of the Great Lakes collaborated with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and dozens of communities and organizations around the state to produce the draft.

The strategy focuses on the environmental as well as economic value of water. Michigan’s water resources are vitally important for agricultural production, drinking water, electric utilities, mining, manufacturing, and water supply to lakes and streams to support fish and wildlife. Additionally, the strategy focuses on the social and cultural value of water, emphasizing the need to reconnect communities with their waters and to foster a water ethic and culture of stewardship.

“Available freshwater continues to grow in importance nationally and globally,” said Jon W. Allan, Director of the DEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes. “The draft water strategy outlines measures to leverage Michigan’s most treasured natural resource and to ensure its long-term sustainability, both critically important to advancing the state’s prosperity. Additionally, the strategy reflects the important relationship Michigan residents have to water in their communities and recognizes that the ability to achieve a shared future vision for water will depend on not just state agencies, but a wide array of individuals, organizations, businesses, industries, and tribal and local governments across the state.”

To read the strategy and learn more about how it was developed, visit

The DEQ is accepting comments on the draft until August 28. Comments may be submitted to the DEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes by mail to P.O. Box 30473, Lansing, Michigan 48909, by fax to 517-335-4053, or by email to