EPA - Great Lakes National Program Office


The Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) coordinates U.S. efforts with Canada under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, which includes Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. GLNPO brings together federal, state, tribal, local, and industry partners under the strategic framework of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to accomplish the objectives of GLRI action plan which in turn fulfills the aims of the GLWQA.  We:

  • remediate contaminated sediments under the Great Lakes Legacy Act;
  • prevent pollution and work to reduce persistent toxic chemicals, as well as to identify emerging contaminants;
  • identify, protect, and restore important habitats;
  • monitor and report on environmental status and trends;
  • provide assistance for community-based Remedial Action Plans for Areas of Concern and for Lakewide Management Plans;
  • use our funding to assist Great Lakes partners through grants, interagency agreements, and contracts, and
  • coordinate and communicate with a wide variety of partners to achieve environmental progress.
Adaptation Work:

The United States and Canada together assess the ecological health of the Great Lakes ecosystem and follow the trends of Great Lakes ecosystem conditions.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

Federal agencies use GLRI resources to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward long term goals. Combining GLRI resources with agency base budgets, we work with nonfederal partners to implement protection and restoration projects.

Under GLRI Action Plan II, federal agencies will develop standardized climate resiliency criteria that will be used to design and select GLRI projects. The standardized criteria will be developed using lessons learned from previous and ongoing GLRI-projects and will also draw on federal agencies’ climate adaptation plans and other project assessment tools that measure resiliency. These criteria will ensure, for example, that GLRI restoration projects incorporate plant and tree species that are suitable for current and projected future climatic conditions. Similarly, these criteria will be used to design watershed restoration projects to take into account potential impacts of more frequent or intense storms on water flow, erosion and runoff. Information about the climate resiliency criteria will be distributed to GLRI partners so that climate change resiliency can be incorporated into the early stages of the GLRI project development process. The federal agencies will review the standardized climate resiliency criteria on an annual basis and incorporate updated climate change information.

Focus areas:

  • Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern
  • Preventing and controlling invasive species
  • Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms
  • Restoring habitat to protect native species
Phone Number: 312-353-2117