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Clean water investments, algal blooms, fisheries among annual State of the Great Lakes report topics

Cover of the 2021 State of the Great Lakes reportSignificant issues affecting the Great Lakes from algal blooms to the historic MI Clean Water investment are covered in the 2021 State of the Great Lakes report released this week by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy's (EGLE) Office of the Great Lakes (OGL).

Topics include the current state of knowledge on harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes; collaborative efforts to restore valuable fisheries like native whitefishes; new tools that hold promise to better understand groundwater resources; and an emphasis on the connectivity of all water resources.

"With 20 percent of the planet's fresh surface water, Michigan has a special relationship with water," said Liesl Clark, EGLE director. "As part of our stewardship role, this State of the Great Lakes report focuses on the activities and programs that will help protect our world-class water resources for future generations. It is vital that we respond to current issues and get ahead of challenges that must be met head-on. From resilient communities to sustainable water use and groundwater challenges, the report emphasizes the interconnectivity of Michigan's waters."

Emily Finnell, the OGL's Great Lakes senior advisor and strategist, notes the report highlights the state's historic investments in water infrastructure; opportunities for advancing water conservation and energy savings through water infrastructure improvements; collaborative partnerships that are advancing innovation in energy efficiency, mobility and autonomous water technologies; the importance of increasing equitable access to Michigan's abundant water resources; and ways the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team is working to protect public health.

The Office of the Great Lakes, which is part of EGLE, works to protect and restore Michigan's waters. It works with partners to support sustainable communities, restore degraded waters, manage water quality and quantity, and prevent aquatic invasive species. Its mission is to ensure a healthy environment, strong blue economy and high quality of life for Michiganders.

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