Great Lakes Regional Ecosystem

Learn more about the Great Lakes Regional Ecosystem—the largest freshwater system on Earth.

View of water and rocks from beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Mosquito Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

The Great Lakes Regional Ecosystem is the largest freshwater system on Earth, supporting commercial and recreational fishing, tourism, shipping, and other industries. They face numerous threats, such as pollution, invasive species, overfishing, and habitat degradation. NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory conducts research in this region to provide information for resource use and management decisions that lead to safe and sustainable ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human communities.