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Our Mission

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.

We could not do what we do without so many partners and supporters. Our funders - The Erb Family Foundation, The Mott Foundation, and The Energy Foundation - are beyond generous and their passion for our work is invigorating. The organizations, formal and informal, that we cooperate with make our jobs so much easier. Our interns from various law schools are dedicated and hard-working. And our partnership with Wayne State University School of Law's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic is special and affords us the privilege of collaborating with Wayne's remarkable law students. In all our work, law students are one of the Center's most valuable resources.