Great Lakes Region


Welcome to NOAA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative homepage


The Great Lakes provide significant environmental, economic, and social value to the region and nation.  Part of the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world and home to thousands of plant and animal species, the Great Lakes contain 95 percent of our country’s surface fresh water supply and are a primary economic driver in the region.

Recognizing the importance of the Great Lakes and the years of degradation and abuse this vital national resource has suffered, President Obama made the Great Lakes’ restoration a national priority.  The resulting Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.  NOAA is pleased to be one of 15 Federal agencies collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Initiative, which began in FY2010.  Work is guided by the GLRI Action Plan III, which is updated from the original Action Plan and covers Fiscal Years 2020 through 2024.  The Action Plan calls for aggressive efforts to address the most significant problems facing the Great Lakes.  These urgent issues have been divided into five “Focus Areas”:

                • Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern
                • Invasive Species
                • Nonpoint Source Pollution Impacts on Nearshore Health
                • Habitats and Species
                • Foundations for Future Restoration Actions

                Click on the boxes below to see NOAA’s GLRI projects in each Focus Area:



GLRI Action Plan III

GLRI Action Plan III summarizes the actions that federal agencies plan to implement during FY20-24.

These actions will build on restoration and protection work carried out under the first GLRI Action Plan, with a major focus on:

  • Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern
  • Preventing/controlling invasive species
  • Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms
  • Restoring habitat to protect native species

Contact Information

For additional information on NOAA’s GLRI work, please contact:

Rebecca Held Knoche
NOAA GLRI Program Coordinator
Phone: (443) 885-5938






What’s happening with the GLRI?

Learn about news and noteworthy happenings related to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

GLRI Webinar: Jan. 22, 2020

Click link below to download (PDFs).

GLRI Partner Agencies

Environmental Protection Agency
Council on Environmental Quality
Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Forest Service
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Department of Defense
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Department of Health & Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Coast Guard
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey
National Park Service
Department of State
Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Maritime Administration

Cover photo: Lake Superior; credit: Michigan Sea Grant

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