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Partner Highlight

Partner Highlight

Council of Great Lakes IndustriesFrom the November 2017 Water Center Newsletter

The Great Lakes Commission

Mission of the Great Lakes Commission

The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) represents, advises, and assists member states and provinces by fostering dialogue, developing consensus, and facilitating collaboration. The GLC advances collective interests and responsibilities to promote economic prosperity and environmental protection, and achieve the sustainable use of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin water resources.

In short, the GLC works with the eight states and two provinces that border the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to represent their interests as a region and to advance shared goals related to conservation, use, and development of the waters of Great Lakes basin. Established in 1955, the GLC works directly with the states and provinces that administer water and related environmental restoration policies and programs. The GLC uses information generated by University of Michigan (U-M) research initiatives to inform management decisions at the state and provincial level.

U-M Research Partnerships

GLC staff have participated in many U-M advisory teams, engaging practitioners in solving real problems and through the U-M Water Center, engagement of GLC staff/practitioners has increased. Examples include:

  • The Great Lakes Environmental Indicators (GLEI) project
  • The Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping (GLEAM) project
  • A focus group to better understand challenges and opportunities of optimizing water infrastructure in Great Lakes cities with smaller populations and outdated infrastructure and
  • “Assessing Detroit River Nutrient Loads” which builds directly on related efforts to better understand various sources of excess nutrients into Lake Erie and helps identify management options to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia.

Areas of U-M Research of Benefit to the GLC:

  • Current Research:
    • Nutrient modeling work at multiple scales is valuable to the GLC staff and our member states and provinces
    • Collaboration with other entities that have modeling expertise (e.g., universities, consulting firms) helps to build confidence in their outputs and improves the ability of decision-makers to use the research
    • The GLC’s collaboration on the project, “Determining the Economic Impact of Protecting and Restoring the Great Lakes,” is significant to understanding how the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative expenditures have impacted the Great Lakes Economy.
  • Potential Future Research:
    • Economic valuation of restoration and protection, particularly in Great Lakes coastal areas
    • Economic impacts of different stressors on the Great Lakes (e.g., invasive species)
    • Water infrastructure (including green infrastructure and stormwater management) costs, benefits, and innovative approaches
    • Information services that track and communicate the effectiveness of efforts and investments to conserve, use, and develop the waters of the Great Lakes in support of the Great Lakes Blue Accounting initiative ( and
    • Climate change impacts on Great Lakes and economic and environmental considerations associated with climate change adaptation.

If you are interested in collaborating with the GLC, see the contact information below.

Contact the GLC