Assessing the Investment:
The Economic Impact of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Assessing the Investment: Case Studies

Eight case studies illustrate how the regional impact of the GLRI translated into local improvements in specific Great Lakes communities. The case studies showed that GLRI leads to significant new real estate and commercial development, particularly in waterfront areas; a resurgence in traditional water-based recreation and the emergence of a new type of tourism focused on kayaking, kitesurfing, and paddle-boarding; improved quality of life, as indicated by willingness to pay more for housing in coastal areas; and increases in the number of young people who are choosing to stay in or relocate to Great Lakes communities.


Project Partners

A team led by the Great Lakes Commission and the Council of Great Lakes Industries coordinated the study. The team included the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes, and the University of Michigan’s Water Center.


Funding for the study was provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Wege Foundation, the Fund for Lake Michigan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Office of the Great Lakes, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of the Great Lakes.

For More Information

Matt Doss
Policy Director
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

Kathryn Buckner
Council of Great Lakes Industries
[email protected]

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