In 2021 the Alliance made important progress on protecting the lakes for all communities across the 1,000-mile-wide watershed that call this region home.
Long-needed investments were implemented in communities to keep drinking water safe and pollution out of the lakes, and continued leadership in stopping the invasive species that threaten our way of life. Most importantly, we saw people across the region energized by the idea that safe and clean water is a basic need that all life depends on.
Thanks to supporters like you, we’re proud to say we’ve achieved a lot this year.
Download the Alliance for the Great Lakes 2021 Annual Report, which includes a message from our President & CEO Joel Brammeier, a report on the Alliance’s finances, a listing of our generous donors, and more.
2021 Program Achievements
Advocacy & Leadership
- We secured a critical funding partnership between Michigan and Illinois, enabling progress on new protections in Illinois to prevent invasive carp from reaching Lake Michigan.
- We successfully advocated for congressional funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $375 million per year, increasing to $475 million per year by 2026, ensuring more on-the-ground restoration and cleanup projects around the lakes.
- We partnered with environmentalists of color in Ohio to develop a first-of-its-kind statewide environmental justice policy platform, coalescing recommendations covering water, land, air, and energy into a roadmap to address Ohio’s environmental justice issues.
Education & Action
- We marked the 30th anniversary of the Adopt-a-Beach program. Today more than 15,000 volunteers participate annually across all five lakes and all eight Great Lakes states.
- We launched the nonpartisan Cleveland Environmental Resident Engagement Toolkit, developed in partnership with more than a dozen community groups, to help Cleveland residents learn about environmental issues at stake in the mayoral and city council elections and get involved.
Research & Analysis
- We released policy recommendations, along with partners, to overhaul zoning rules for Chicago’s Calumet River and Lake Michigan industrial corridor, which faces unjust siting of polluting industries.
- We issued our first Cost to Comply report, detailing the investment and accountability needed to dramatically reduce farm runoff to Green Bay and the Lower Fox River. We’re now applying this method to stop the agricultural pollution that feeds algal blooms in Lake Erie.
- We educated Detroiters about the causes of the disastrous June floods that damaged thousands of homes and businesses and caused massive sewage overflows – and showed opportunities to use nature-based infrastructure to help alleviate the problems.