Graham Sustainability Institute

Great Lakes Water Levels Resources

This page includes resources developed and compiled as part of the Great Lakes Water Levels Integrated Assessment.

Project Reports

Report cover

Final Great Lakes Water Levels Integrated Assessment Report (11.5 MB PDF)

Report cover

Final Executive Summary of the Great Lakes Water Levels Integrated Assessment Report (1.5 MB PDF)

Phase I & Phase II Reports
Refer to the webpages for each of the place-based project teams to access the Phase I and Phase II reports and additional resources.
Lynne Peterson (PI) - Local Government and Integrated Policy Consultant
George Ahronditsis (PI), Helen McRae, Meghan Allerton - University of Toronto
Agnes Richards - Environment and Climate Change Canada
Kate Proctor - Land-use planning consultant and Huron County farmer
Tonia Wanio –  Municipal finance and land-use planning consultant
David Hart (PI), Gene Clark, Adam Mednick, Julia Noordyk, Deidre Peroff - Wisconsin Sea Grant
John Janssen, Jenny Kehl - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ben Kranner, Jim LaGro, Andrew Mangham, David Mickelson, Brian Ohm, Chin Wu - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bert Stitt, Linda Stitt – Stitt and Associates
Frank J. Marsik (PI), Richard B. Rood, Barbara Doyle - University of Michigan
Kyle P. Whyte - Michigan State University
Ellie Masters - Oberlin College
Richard K. Norton (PI), Zachary Rable - University of Michigan
Guy A. Meadows - Michigan Technological University
Harry Burkholder, Katie Sieb - LIAA

IA Process

Advisory Committee

The IA was informed by a binational advisory committee with representatives from government, business, and non-governmental organizations. The committee’s role was to provide input and advice reflecting the views of key stakeholder groups and to ensure the IA scope was relevant to decision makers. Committee members also provided data and input throughout the process, including feedback on the policy topics, analytic approach, format of the IA, and review of draft reports. All final decisions regarding content of project analyses and reports were determined by project personnel and researchers.

  • Jon Allan - Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • John Allis - Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, US Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District
  • Mark Breederland - Northwest District, Michigan Sea Grant
  • Kathryn Buckner - Council of Great Lakes Industries
  • Matthew Child - International Joint Commission, Great Lakes Regional Office
  • Gene Clark - University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
  • John Coluccy - Ducks Unlimited
  • Patrick Doran - The Nature Conservancy
  • Bonnie Fox - Conservation Ontario
  • Gail Hesse - National Wildlife Federation
  • Erin Kuhn - West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission
  • Wendy Leger - Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Scudder D. Mackey - Office of Coastal Management, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • David Powers - Smith, Martin, Powers & Knier; Save our Shoreline
  • Larry J. Robson - Great Lakes Coalition
  • David Sweetnam - Georgian Bay Forever
  • Kathy Tank - Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association
IA Plan

The IA Plan (PDF) provides an overview of the goals and process of the project.

Public Events & Comments

Stakeholder engagement was a key component of the IA, and the project included a number of opportunities to generate broader participation and feedback:

Public Meeting - On May 17, 2016 multidisciplinary experts from the U.S. and Canada came together to share information with interested stakeholders at a public meeting (in-person and live-streamed) about Great Lakes water level variability, adaptation, and Phase I of the IA. View and download their presentations on the public event webpage.

Webinar Series - In November and December 2016 the IA teams presented webinars on the findings of their Phase II work analyzing policies and adaptive actions for the communities with whom they were working. View the presentations on the webinar webpage.

Public Comment - A 30-day public comment period was held to solicit feedback on the final IA report. Comments will be summarized and made available with the final report in order to further promote the sharing of diverse perspectives around this issue.


In addition to IA reports, the Graham Sustainability Institute has prepared and compiled additional resources for understanding lake level variability.


In collaboration with partners at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (NOAA-GLERL), the Graham Institute developed fact sheets that provide overviews of the Great Lakes water budget and fluctuations in water levels.

Shoreline Property Owners Survey

In the fall of 2014 the Graham Sustainability Institute conducted an online survey of over 1,800 Great Lakes property owners and managers from the U.S. and Canada in order to help inform the scope of the Integrated Assessment. The survey collected data on property owners’ perceptions of the causes and consequences of water level change, as well as their preferences for obtaining water-level ralted information. Click on the link below to read the final report.

Other Resources & Tools

For more information, please contact Maggie Allan at (734) 763-0749 or