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Organized around the guiding principle of assuring that the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River continue to provide a plentiful source of clean, affordable water to the region’s residents, businesses, and industries.

The GLLC’s mission is to strengthen the role of state and provincial legislators in the regional, national, and binational policymaking process by providing a forum to exchange good practices, ideas, and opportunities, and by advancing legislation to promote the restoration, protection, economy, and sustainable use of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River for current residents and future generations.


Organized and staffed by The Council of State Governments Midwestern Office (CSG Midwest), the GLLC was founded in 2003 at the urging of a core group of state legislators led by the late Michigan Sen. Patricia (Patty) Birkholz. The Caucus has grown from an ad hoc group of like-minded legislators to an active, member-driven organization of state and provincial legislators from all 10 jurisdictions that share the Great Lakes basin.

The evolution of the GLLC would not have been possible without the generosity of foundations that have supported CSG Midwest’s work, with much gratitude especially to The Joyce Foundation. We also thank the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for funding general operations and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation for funding the GLLC’s work on nutrient management.


Catch up on our latest news

  • New Great Lakes Program Director
    CSG Midwest is pleased to welcome Jessica Lienhardt as the new director of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus. In this role, Jessica will guide the many activities and services provided to state and provincial legislators through the nonpartisan, binational GLLC. A native and resident of Michigan, Jessica most recently worked for five years […]
  • For states, the work on ‘forever chemicals’ has just begun, and potential economic effects on agriculture loom large
    Over the past two years, policy “firsts” have cropped up in state legislatures across the country to deal with the problem of PFAS, a class of widely used chemicals linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. In the Midwest, Illinois became the first U.S. state to ban the incineration of PFAS (HB 4818), […]
  • Caucus meets in Chicago, selects two legislators to lead bipartisan, binational group starting in 2023
    Joined by leading policy experts and scientists on the Great Lakes, state and provincial legislators came to Chicago in September for a weekend devoted to learning about how and why to protect the largest freshwater system in the world.  The binational, bipartisan Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus is unique in its composition and focus.  […]
  • EPA Continues Funding for Great Lakes Wetlands Monitoring with New Grant
    Ten organizations recently received grant to continue their research in monitoring the Great Lakes coastal wetlands. The teams monitor all wetland wildlife including birds, fish, bugs, plants, and amphibians around the Great Lakes. The data they collect is evaluated to determine if environmental changes are natural or the result of human activity.  It is […]