The Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, and their connecting channels – form the largest surface fresh water system on earth. Michigan is at the heart of that system, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. Through research, education and outreach, Michigan Sea Grant is dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of the Great Lakes and coastal resources.

Michigan Sea Grant is a cooperative program of the University of Michigan (UM) and Michigan State University (MSU). It is also part of a national network of more than 30 university-based Sea Grant programs in coastal states across the country, administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Each Sea Grant program has three components: research, education and outreach.

Nearly 110,000 students and adults have learned more about the Great Lakes since 1991 by participating in the Great Lakes Education Program. Designed though a collaboration involving Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the program provides students, their teachers and adult chaperones with an unforgettable on-the-water learning experience. The school ship Clinton will soon provide this on-the-water experience from the newly constructed fishing pier in the Refuge Gateway allowing thousands who share a common ownership of, and stewardship responsibility for, our great lakes.

Michigan Sea Grant staff has been involved in the DRIWR and IWRA since their inception in variety of ways. Today we recognize Michigan Sea Grant for their continued efforts in providing 26 years of classroom and vessel-based education in southeast Michigan and their commitment to furthering the mission of IWRA and the Refuge.