Our Impact & History

Protecting the Great Lakes for more than 50 years

The Alliance for the Great Lakes has been working to protect the lakes and our communities since 1970. Recent successes include:

Advocacy & Leadership

Education & Action

Research & Analysis

  • Assessing water affordability: Costs for sewer and drinking water services are rising in communities around the region. We partnered with Ohio Environmental Council to commission a  study assessing the affordability of basic water services for low-income households in the state of Ohio. In short, it’s a challenge for many Ohioans in urban and rural areas. Now, we’re working to develop policy solutions that protect our water and improve our infrastructure, while not disproportionately impacting the most economically vulnerable.
  • Stopping invasive carp: A regional policy leader on invasive species issues, we’ve  led the campaign to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes  for the past decade. We released a groundbreaking report calling for permanent separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins to prevent inter-basin transfer of invasive carp and other invasive species. Now we’re working to advance the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s proposed project at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam – the best solution currently available to prevent invasive carp from reaching the lakes.
  • Convening peer exchanges for local officials: Climate change is already straining the Great Lakes, and communities facing drinking water and sewer infrastructure issues are being strained even further. We are  partnering with cities around the lakes, bringing them together to share the creative ways they are addressing water issues, and working together to find solutions. 

Our History

Led by Lee Botts, a tireless champion for Lake Michigan, a group of advocates formed the Lake Michigan Federation in 1970. The Federation was instrumental in many of the early Great Lakes protection campaigns. 

But each Great Lake depends on the health of the others. And so, in the early 2000s, the organization’s staff and Board of Directors began contemplating how to expand its focus beyond just Lake Michigan. 

The Lake Michigan Federation was renamed the Alliance for the Great Lakes in 2005.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020.

Give to the Great Lakes

Give a gift to protect our region’s most precious resource: the fresh, clean, and natural waters of the Great Lakes.