The Great Lakes—the earth's largest fresh water system—face many threats, including habitat degradation, overfishing, invasive species, marine debris, and pollution from oil and chemical spills.
NOAA is working with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to implement habitat restoration in the 8 Great Lakes states. These projects improve priority habitat important to native fish species, and toxic “hotspots” (known as Areas of Concern), the most degraded areas in the Great Lakes basin.
Since 2010, NOAA has supported more than 70 projects through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. These projects have restored more than 4,500 acres of habitat and opened almost 500 miles of stream for fish to access their habitat.