Explore the Great Lakes States in 2023

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From coast to coast and everywhere in between: this is the coverage of the 2023 Michigan Great Lakes Report, released today to the Michigan Legislature and the public.

2023 Great Lakes State Report

A report by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Office of Great Lakes (OGL) examines key achievements, issues, and initiatives related to the health and sustainability of the world’s largest surface freshwater system. The four Great Lakes border Michigan.

By state law, OGL prepares and submits annual reports to the state Legislature on behalf of the governor. This year’s 42-page report includes his 17 papers by experts from state and federal agencies, academia, and the private sector.

The report focuses on regions including the Lake Michigan shoreline, Upper Peninsula, northern Lower Peninsula, southwest and southeastern Michigan, and focuses on cleaning up areas of concern (AOC), strategies to combat invasive plants and animals, and cleaning oceans. We cover topics such as investing in. It is a historic reinvestment in transportation and infrastructure, land and water conservation to advance greenhouse gas reduction goals in the MI Health Climate Plan, and Michigan’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

EGLE Director Phil Ruth said the report strengthens Michigan’s national leadership on environmental issues.

“The unparalleled water resources around us give Michiganders the impetus to build their own responsibility, knowledge, and stewardship,” Ruth said. “These are the main reasons Michigan is at the forefront of environmental protection in the United States, and this report makes clear that we will continue to lead the way.”

The 2023 report, along with recent editions, is posted on OGL’s webpage.

“It’s impossible to summarize a topic as vast as the Great Lakes in a single report, but the articles represent the many areas where people are making a difference for the better,” said Emily Finnell, senior advisor and strategist at EGLE Great Lakes. “There is,” he said. “Expect to be informed, inspired and challenged.”

Here is the complete list of topics covered in the 2023 report:

  • OGL projects and priorities: Sustainability, climate, community well-being, environmental justice and equity, Michigan’s “blue economy,” Great Lakes literacy, and more.
  • Management by lake: Priorities for Michigan and the four neighboring Great Lakes include collecting water quality data and restoring wetlands and coastal habitats.
  • Parts of concern: Expansion of public advisory committees central to restoration and remediation efforts through the U.S. and Canadian AOC programs.
  • Ox Creek Revitalization: EGLE continues to support community-driven plans for economic revitalization and environmental justice along Benton Harbor and the surrounding waterways.
  • Michigan fisheries management: Scientific and economic factors influencing the past, present, and future of Michigan’s freshwater ecosystems.
  • Aquatic invasive species: Efforts to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes and stop the spread of hydrilla, one of the world’s most harmful aquatic plants.
  • Phosphorus decline in the western Lake Erie basin: Focuses on agriculture’s role in improving water quality and reducing harmful algal blooms.
  • Investment in water infrastructure: After decades of underfunding, we will focus on new investments to protect public health and the environment.
  • New locks on the Sioux River: Progress report on the construction of a second channel for 1,000-foot cargo ships to serve as economic insurance.
  • Ocean clean energy and transportation: Sample important developments in electric ships, clean port facilities, etc.
  • Sustainable small port: The latest edition of the tools and tactics guidebook to help communities develop a shared vision for a sustainable and economically successful waterfront.
  • Water and land conservation: Take a closer look at the MI Health Climate Plan’s “30 by 30” goal to conserve 30% of Michigan’s land and water by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Rainwater standards for water infrastructure: Improving the ability of water utilities to cope with a changing climate, protect health and safety, and reduce flood risk.
  • Coastal resilience: The multi-state study will examine how future conditions will impact Great Lakes coastal communities, infrastructure and habitat.
  • Groundwater data management system: Transform a wealth of information into an accessible database to guide responsible groundwater management.
  • Higher education and workforce development: Lake Superior State University’s new Great Lakes Ecology Education Department focuses on career building.

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