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Wisconsin's Great Lakes Strategy

The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world's available fresh surface water supply. Because of that, the Great Lakes are critical to the health and welfare of all the Great Lakes states. Effective management of both wetland and water quantity and quality is necessary if we are to fulfill Wisconsin's stewardship obligations for these world-class resources.

In 2006, the DNR's Office of the Great Lakes, with the help of countless individuals and organizations, developed "Wisconsin's Great Lake Strategy" - a Wisconsin-specific strategy to parallel the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy. The strategy brought together information from previous planning efforts and serves as a comprehensive state action agenda for coordinating and allocating resources. The plan better positions Wisconsin to project implementation agency program and project goals and objects, including those initiatives funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

The strategy is, and rightfully needs to be, a dynamic document. The Office of the Great Lakes (now called the Office of Great Waters) began seeking input for an update in the fall of 2008, relying on both internal and external partners to provide input on new issues and priorities. The updated 2009 strategy reflects these changes and recommended actions since 2006, including recognition of the potential impacts from a changing climate.

Implementation of Wisconsin's Great Lakes Strategy

Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Strategy is a road map for addressing the many threats facing Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. It provides the necessary details to help support and implement the recommended action items of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy.

The Wisconsin Great Lakes Strategy was developed in partnership by the Wisconsin DNR, other government agencies, elected officials, tribes, local communities, citizen-led organizations, and businesses. These partnerships also play a key role in achieving the Strategy goals. The Office of Great Waters collaborates with partners to develop projects and secure funding to restore and protect the Great Lakes in Wisconsin.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) builds on these state and local efforts to solve problems facing the Great Lakes. The framework and partnerships forged by the Great Lakes Strategy set the stage to accomplish on-the-ground actions with GLRI funding that improve Wisconsin’s economy, environment, and quality of life.

The GLRI was launched in 2010 as a non-regulatory program to accelerate efforts and provide additional resources to implement the most critical long-term actions needed protect and restore our largest system of fresh surface water in the world. The GLRI is a catalyst for unprecedented coordination and collaboration. Leveraging funding and resources, it allows partners to achieve more than any one entity could do alone.

Action Plans and Reports