Great Lakes Commission and partners release action plan for growing Great Lakes Blue Economy

Sep 27, 2021 | News and Announcements

Ann Arbor, Mich. An action plan released today recommends building blocks for growing the Great Lakes basin economy by leveraging the economic potential of the region’s freshwater resources. Leaders from more than 50 Great Lakes agencies and organizations, convened by the Great Lakes Commission (GLC), developed the action plan as a roadmap for collective action and a challenge to regional decision-makers to take strategic action.

The plan recommends actions to help the region: develop a cohesive vision and organizational structure; advance its water research, education, technology and innovation sectors; create a unique Great Lakes brand and strategically market the Great Lakes Blue Economy at the national and international levels; and establish and track shared goals and metrics for growing the regional economy.

“The Great Lakes are a critical driver for our regional economy,” said GLC Chair Sharon M. Jackson, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Eric J. Holcomb of Indiana. “The steps recommended in this action plan will help the region leverage our freshwater resources to attract and retain talent, increase jobs, and increase quality of life equitably throughout the Great Lakes basin.”

Funding for development of the action plan was provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Wege Foundation, the Fund for Lake Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Office of the Great Lakes, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of the Great Lakes. Development of the action plan grew out of a 2018 study of the positive impact of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) on the region’s economy.

For more information and to read the action plan, please visit:

The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Sharon M. Jackson, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Eric J. Holcomb of Indiana, is a binational government agency established in 1955 to protect the Great Lakes and the economies and ecosystems they support. Its membership includes leaders from the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin. The GLC recommends policies and practices to balance the use, development, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes and brings the region together to work on issues that no single community, state, province, or nation can tackle alone. Learn more at


For media inquiries, please contact Beth Wanamaker,

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