Healthier Great Lakes

During its first five years, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative implemented more than 2,500 projects to improve water quality, clean up contaminated shoreline, protect, and restore native habitat and species, and prevent and control invasive species in the Great Lakes. That work, which began in 2010, is summarized in a new Report to Congress and the President.

Funding provided through The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) has been a catalyst for unprecedented federal agency coordination through the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force and the Great Lakes Regional Working Group, which are led by EPA.

During the first five years of the GLRI, federal agencies and their partners completed all cleanup actions required to delist five Great Lakes Areas of Concern and to formally delist the Presque Isle Bay Area of Concern — a major change from the 25 years before the Initiative, during which only one Area of Concern was cleaned up and delisted. The United States and Canada designated 43 heavily contaminated sites around the Great Lakes as Areas of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

The EPA leads the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force and the Regional Working Group that coordinate the work of 16 federal agencies to implement the GLRI. Last year, GLRI developed a new five-year plan to guide its 2015-2019 actions and strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. For more information, visit