What we do

We tailor our efforts to match national Sea Grant focus areas:

  • Healthy coastal ecosystems
  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
  • Resilient communities and economies
  • Environmental literacy and workforce development

Research, education, and outreach

Through research, education, and outreach, Michigan Sea Grant is dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of the Great Lakes and coastal resources.

We bring together diverse stakeholders to develop a shared vision and to work toward science-based solutions to Michigan’s coastal challenges. Our program integrates Great Lakes research, outreach, and education to help our stakeholders respond to issues related to coastal businesses and economies (human activities along the coast), protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems, managing fisheries, preventing and controlling invasive species, and more.

About our program (updated 6/24) (PDF)

Research, education, and outreach means:

  • Keeping businesses, residents, and students informed about current coastal issues and resources. Our Extension educators live in coastal communities around the state, publish resources for a variety of audiences, develop free classroom lessons online, and offer hands-on camps and workshops.
  • Funding Michigan researchers to tackle pressing issues about the environmental health and economic well-being of the state’s coastal areas.
  • Connecting government agencies, non-government organizations, educators, business owners, and citizens by supporting programs like the Michigan Clean Marina Program, annual fisheries workshops, and the Sustainable Small Harbors project.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension

Michigan State University Extension supports efforts to carry out Michigan Sea Grant programs throughout the state. Michigan Sea Grant’s Extension educators help apply research, conduct educational activities, and unite stakeholder groups in communities across Michigan’s coasts. They share scientific knowledge with decision-makers, public officials, community leaders, businesses, and industries. Read about our educators’ latest projects in the Newsroom or our Upwellings newsletter.


Michigan Sea Grant is proud to work with a host of excellent partners at federal, state, local, and individual levels. Their hard work and dedication are essential to realizing our vision of a healthy and sustainable future for the Great Lakes.

Michigan Sea Grant functions as an impartial convener of important conversations, bringing information and diverse groups of stakeholders to the table to discuss shared challenges and opportunities. Because of the complexity of issues that surround coastal resources, stakeholders sometimes disagree. We work to bring these groups together to find common ground. We listen, learn, and incorporate what we’ve heard into our ongoing research and outreach efforts.

We also routinely seek input and feedback from external advisors. We are grateful for the leadership and guidance of our formal advisory committee, which helps shape our strategic plans, research priorities, and program directions. We also assemble formal and informal advisory groups for specific programs, project needs, or issues.