Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality promotes wise management of Michigan's air, land, and water resources to support a sustainable environment, healthy communities, and vibrant economy.

Department of Environmental Quality Water Resource Division establish water quality standards, assess water quality, provide regulatory oversight for all public water supplies, issue permits to regulate the discharge of industrial and municipal wastewaters, monitor State Water resources for water quality, the quantity and quality of aquatic habitat, the health of aquatic communities, and compliance with state laws. 

The Water Resources Division (WRD) administers three major programs (Groundwater Discharge Permits Program, Surface Water Quality Program, and Water Resources Program) that include a number of activities involving protection of the environment, groundwaters, and surface waters of the state for present and future generations. The mission of the WRD is to make Michigan’s waters safe and clean for recreating, fishing, drinking, and healthy aquatic ecosystems. Five major goals provide definition to this mission: (1) Enhance Recreational Waters; (2) Ensure Consumable Fish; (3) Protect and Restore Aquatic Ecosystems; (4) Ensure Safe Drinking Water; and (5) Protect Public Safety. Our programs promote sound environmental stewardship of Michigan’s land and water resources while recognizing the social and economic needs of the state.

Adaptation Work:

Michigan’s Commitment to Addressing Climate ChangeIn November of 2010 the Michigan Climate Coalition was formed through Michigan State University in collaboration with “Michiganders” interested in climate science, energy efficiency, sustainability and related disciplines. The Michigan Climate Coalition includes several working groups, some of which are focused on coastal/Great Lakes issues, Inland Waters and Wildlife/Terrestrial Systems.

1. Advanced Strategic Planning This white paper outlines a wide range of potential actions to address climate change adaptation. A more in depth and focused consideration of priority topics is needed to set a statewide direction, and to avoid working at cross purposes. The definition of broad goals and policies will of necessity include a number of atypical partners.

2. Monitoring and Assessment The Michigan DEQ has developed a comprehensive water assessment and monitoring program (2005 update of the Water Quality Monitoring Strategy) as well as a separate Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (also completed in 2005). Other state, federal and local agencies and academic institutions also conduct a significant level of monitoring and assessment of Michigan’s waters, ecosystems, and wildlife. To date, monitoring directed specifically at climate change evaluation has been more limited. It is likely that a significant amount of information can be extracted from current monitoring efforts to evaluate many of the impacts of climate change on wetlands and associated resources.

3. Voluntary Restoration, Conservation and Management Wetland preservation, restoration and stewardship by private landowners and public land management agencies predates wetland regulation. Wetland conservation activities are driven by desires for improved habitat, open space, water quality protection, and other concerns. Fortunately, the continuation of these conservation programs will also provide real benefits for adaptation to climate change. Thus, continued emphasis on restoration and conservation provides a no-regrets approach to climate change adaptation that will provide positive benefits for Michigan’s resources regardless of the extent of climate change impacts.

Integration of climate change adaptation criteria into multiple conservation programs will further this approach.

4. Regulation

Phone Number: 800-662-9278