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Michigan Water Strategy

Crystal clear water of Lake Michigan washing up on a pebbled shoreline at Wilderness State Park on a beautiful summer day
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Michigan Water Strategy

The Water Strategy is 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 for actors at many levels to promote healthy water resources. It is organized around nine goals and outcomes designed to ensure the viability and sustainability of Michigan’s water resources over time, placing Michigan on a path to achieving its water vision in a way that builds economic capacity while sustaining ecological integrity of this globally significant resource.

The Office of the Great Lakes led the creation of a comprehensive, ecosystem-based water resource strategy with partners based on a statewide listening tour. The Water Strategy was built on a collaborative process that recognizes the value of continued learning, open dialogue, and adaptive management. Development of the Water Strategy involved a robust advisory process including an interdepartmental team. In addition, the plan was greatly enhanced by advice from an ad-hoc external council known as the Water Cabinet, convened to provide experience and knowledge in a variety of subject areas.

From Students to Stewards Initiative

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will award $100,000 to expand freshwater literacy place-based STEM education, and Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's (LEO) MiSTEM Network will award $100,000 to support innovative STEM 3-P (problem, place and project-based) learning.

New Grants to Boost Freshwater Literacy, Innovative STEM Education for K-12 Students

Taking Action on Lake Erie

In Lake Erie, several factors contribute to algal blooms.  Nutrient-rich water from wastewater treatment plants, farm fields and fertilized lawns, the effects of invasive species, and the warm, shallow waters of the lake are some of the known contributors, but there may be others that aren't quite understood yet. To reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen entering Lake Erie, Michigan released the Lake Erie Domestic Action Plan (DAP) developed by the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Natural Resources. Michigan's plan sets the road map for reducing phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40 percent by 2025.

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Stopping Invasive Species Introductions

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan's economy, environment, or human health.

Many non-native species in Michigan, including fruits, vegetables, field crops, livestock and domestic animals, are important to our economy and lifestyle.

Learn more about aquatic invasive species
An oil sheen in a pile of mud, from a contamination site

Study of Institutional Controls for Groundwater Management: Long-term Costs and Their Impact for Policy

The results of this project will provide a better understanding of the long-term implications, risks and costs of using institutional controls and other restrictive actions such as limiting the use of the aquifer when managing risks associated with groundwater that has become unusable due to contamination. Institutional controls are in use at more than 2,000 sites across the state. Michigan's environmental laws do not provide detailed guidelines or limitations on the appropriate use of these mechanisms. This research project is intended to augment decision-making by addressing this information gap.

A close-up of a wild rice plant

Development of Wild Rice Stewardship Plan

Michigan's wild rice, Zizania palustris and Zizania aquatica, is native to the Great Lakes region and portions of Canada. Found in shallow waters of inland lakes, slow-flowing streams, and Great Lakes embayments, wild rice has ecological, social, cultural and economic value in the state, specifically and most particularly for Anishinaabe communities in the region, who know the plant as manoomin. Once plentiful in places like northern Michigan, wild rice is under threat from climate change, habitat loss, uninformed harvesting practices, degraded water quality and other factors.

Michigan Water School

Michigan Water School is a program to help elected and appointed officials increase their knowledge about water management and gain access to tools and resources to help impact their local economy.

Learn more about the Water School

Michigan Technological University led Smart Ship Coalition and Lake Superior Marine Autonomy Research Site

The Smart Ships Coalition is a broad stakeholder community of academic, state and federal agencies, private and non-profit industry, and international organizations who share a common interest in the advancement and application of autonomous technologies operated in marine environments.

Smart Ships Coalition