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Great Lakes Water Quality

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a five year $475 million plan developed and led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with 15 other federal agencies, including the National Park Service. The Initiative is meant to help protect and restore the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. Projects funded through this initiative fall under five principal focus areas:

  • Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern
  • Invasive Species
  • Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution
  • Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration
  • Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships

Additional information about the Initiative can be found in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan (February 21, 2010).

EPA: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Good water quality in our Great Lakes parks is a significant challenge because success depends on determining resource condition inside and outside park boundaries and influencing change when necessary. Under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the National Park Service (NPS) is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to assess water quality in our Great Lakes parks (Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, Pictured Rocks and Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshores; and Isle Royale National Park). The NPS Water Resources Division worked with the US EPA to develop sampling designs for Lake Superior and Lake Michigan parks which will allow us to assess water and sediment quality within parks relative to coastal waters in each of the lakes. This will give us both a local and regional perspective of water quality to help inform park management decisions. EPA National Coastal Assessment

Funding for this project was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

NPS Contacts:

Eva DiDonato
Marine Pollution Ecologist
Water Resources Division
Natural Resource Stewardship and Science

Brenda Moraska Lafrancois
Aquatic Ecologist
Great Lakes Area
Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Croix Watershed Research Station

Phyllis Ellin
Midwest Region Partnerships Liaison
Great Lakes National Program Office

Last Updated: January 04, 2017