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Office of the Great Lakes

An endless expanse of turquoise-blue clear waters under a bright blue sky. The shoreline is made of large, smooth rocks.
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Office of the Great Lakes

As the Great Lakes State, Michigan upholds the highest standards for protecting, restoring, and sustaining the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater resource. The Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) is a leader in developing policy and implementing strategic programs to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes watershed. The office collaborates with partner organizations to support sustainable water use and development of Great Lakes maritime resources; support vibrant and resilient communities; foster water stewardship; and advance science, research, and policy to solve the next generation of water challenges. 

The Michigan Legislature created the office in 1985 under the Great Lakes Protection Act.

A person standing on the shoreline of a body of water on a summer day with a fishing reel in hand

Great Lakes and Freshwater Week, June 1-9, 2024

Each year, Michigan proclaims this week to raise awareness of the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland waterways and groundwater. It’s a time to reflect on the importance of these water bodies and their immeasurable value to wellness for people and nature throughout the state. By raising awareness, we will inspire people to protect and be champions of the Great Lakes and fresh water.

Our call to action is for residents around the state to learn about, enjoy, appreciate, and safeguard this vital resource for current and future generations.  How will you make the water-wellness connection and protect Michigan’s Great Lakes and fresh water? Share your photos, actions, and stories on social media with #MiGreatLakesWeek

Aerial of Great Lakes

Building on Regional Collaboration

We collaborate with regional partners to develop and implement shared priorities and speak with a unified voice on Great Lakes policies to sustain the world's largest freshwater system.
A reddish-orange rocky cliff, part of Pictured Rock National Lakeshore overlooking Lake Superior

Protecting Great Lakes freshwater

We work at the regional, state, and local level to support sustainable Great Lakes water use.
Learn more
A boat sitting in the Soo Locks

Growing the Great Lakes maritime economy

We convene and connect regional, state and local partners to support the development of Great Lakes maritime resources, ports, and harbors, and promote Great Lakes tourism.
Cedarville High School students install a monitor in a local waterway. The monitor is part of the MiWaterNet program run by the Center for Freshwater Research and Education at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie

Stewarding the Great Lakes

We foster water literacy in all ages to create current and future generations of water stewards, leaders, skilled workers, and decision-makers.
Become a water steward
Researchers deploy Michigan Tech’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) IVER 3 in the Keweenaw Waterway to take a closer look at an unmarked shipwreck

Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund

The office manages the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund, an endowment created to support Great Lakes research that advances policy and science-based decision making.
About the fund
Crystal clear water of Lake Michigan washing up on a pebbled shoreline at Wilderness State Park on a beautiful summer day

Michigan Water Strategy

The office led the creation of the Water Strategy, a 30-year plan for Michiganders to protect, manage, and enhance Michigan’s water resources for current and future generations. The strategy identifies key actions to promote healthy water resources.
Learn more
sandy trail with beach grass opening up to Lake Michigan

State of the Great Lakes Report

The office coordinates the development the annual State of the Great Lakes Report on behalf on the Governor to highlight major accomplishments, issues, and initiatives.
All SOGL reports
A white lighthouse with red roof on the shore of Lake Michigan, cloudy sky in the background

Great Lakes programs partners

We collaborate with programs led by EGLE and other local, state, and federal agencies and tribal governments to fulfill OGL’s mission of protecting, restoring, and sustaining the Great Lakes watershed.