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EGLE releases 2022 State of the Great Lakes Report

It’s not easy to sum up a year of accomplishments and challenges within the world’s largest surface freshwater system, but the 2022 State of the Great Lakes Report tells the story by distilling a few overarching themes:

  • Building a water-driven “blue economy” through Great Lakes education and career pathways.
  • Advancing technology, scientific research, and data sharing around water issues.
  • Restoring and protecting vital ecosystems within and around the Great Lakes.

The Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) in Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) prepared the annual report, presented Dec. 20 to the Michigan Legislature on behalf of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Photos and informational graphics accompany the articles. EGLE Director Liesl Clark called the report a guide to stewardship of a world-class resource.

2022 State of the Great Lakes Cover

“Its focus on challenges and solutions enhances our understanding and empowers us to safeguard the lakes now and for future generations,” Clark said.

Emily Finnell, OGL Great Lakes senior advisor and strategist, said the report highlights efforts to advance a sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future for Michigan and the Great Lakes, emphasizing connections such as public-private partnerships and cross-cultural collaborations. 

So, what’s in the report? Here’s a sneak peek:

  • A U.S.-Canada analysis finds two Great Lakes’ ecosystems “good,” two “fair,” and one “poor.”
  • Historic bipartisan investment supports water infrastructure improvements.
  • The MI Healthy Climate Plan sets a carbon-neutrality goal vital to the lakes’ health.
  • Education programs help Michiganders of all ages build STEM skills and an environmental ethic.
  • Graduates of a college’s innovative programs are advancing Michigan’s blue economy.
  • A planned network of electric boat charging stations will be a first in the U.S.
  • Lake, stream, and groundwater monitoring are yielding better and more accessible data.
  • Guidance is in development to help communities collaboratively manage water resources.
  • Muskegon Lake is among the latest hard-won success stories in Michigan’s Areas of Concern.
  • A long journey has begun to rescue an Upper Peninsula fish spawning reef from mining waste.
  • Studies and sampling programs target lake contamination by PFAS and microplastics.
  • The Benton Harbor community sees hope for revitalization alongside a cleaned-up creek.
  • Teamwork with Tribal Nations is restoring manoomin, or native wild rice, in Michigan.
  • A Biosphere Region and forest protections show how lakes, land, and people are intertwined.

You can read the complete report on the Office of the Great Lakes website, which links to the 2022 report in a printable format or viewable as magazine-style double-page layouts. The website also links to reports from recent years. 

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