Protecting the world's greatest freshwater resource
and the communities that depend on it.



The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center is a Detroit-based nonprofit that offers community education, policy support, and various legal services to address environmental, resource, & energy issues affecting communities in and around Detroit, all over Michigan, and throughout the Great Lakes region. 

Be it air, water, or land, every day decisions are made and actions are taken that impact the environment, energy, and resources on which Great Lakes communities rely. At the heart of the Center's mission is engaging with those communities. Through that engagement, community members educate us on how pollution, insufficient access to justice, and poor resource management affect their lives; and they advise us on what solutions should look like where they live, work, and play. We absorb those perspectives and work to implement educational, policy, and legal strategies that contribute to addressing the community's needs and desires. We do all this through working with law students because part of our mission is that they can and do play a major role in shaping the future of environmental law.

We fulfill our mission locally, statewide, and regionally in what we consider to be our three homes. We are based in Detroit and so naturally much of our work is focused on the city, Wayne County, and nearby counties. We also work on statewide issues that affect Michigan as a whole and issues that arise elsewhere in the state. Finally, just as our Great Lakes are all connected, we address regional issues that connect communities from the eight Great Lakes states and our Canadian neighbor provinces.

News & Announcements

Announcing the addition Erin Mette as a 2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow

The Center is excited to announce that Erin Mette will join the organization this September as an Equal Justice Works Fellow! Erin’s fellowship project will focus on protecting children in Detroit and Flint from home-based environmental health hazards by providing legal counseling and representation to affected families and advocating for policy that addresses the root causes of this unique environmental justice issue. Her fellowship is sponsored by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and an anonymous donor. You can read more about her exciting project here. 


We are looking to add a Senior Attorney this summer. For more information, click here