Great Lakes


Tools for Communities

What is a Master Plan?

Who Owns the Water

Natural Shoreline Dynamics

Climate Variability

Regulations and Permits

Case Studies



The Great Lakes are one of the most unique water resources in the world, and form a key part of the identity of Michigan and the greater Midwest region.  Michigan has more freshwater coastline than any state in the country, and a person in Michigan is never more than 85 miles away from the Great Lakes shoreline.  The Great Lakes are used by Michigan residents and visitors for drinking water, irrigation, commerce, recreation, and much more!

The following pages describe how the master planning process can help communities in efforts to protect water resources such as the Great Lakes, as well as tools to implement regulations or programs envisioned by a master planning process.