Making Lake Michigan Great Educational Tour

The Lake Michigan Forum partners with the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) on the Making Lake Michigan Great on-board education tour.  The Making Lake Michigan Great tour is aboard the research vessel, W.G. Jackson, a 65-foot specially designed outreach and education vessel of the Annis Water Resources Institute.  The Jackson takes out over 5,000 people per year on educational cruises. The tour is entering its 14th year, with 31 ports of call in Lake Michigan. 

The purpose of tour, which is funded by the EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office, is to spread the word about the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) for Lake Michigan and gather input on lakewide issues from the public at the various ports of call. This is done in a variety of ways through water quality sampling cruises, open houses on the vessel, exhibits, and public meetings. Local contacts at each port coordinate the programs and take registrations for the cruises. There is no charge to participants on Jackson cruises.

The Jackson science instructors and crew, in cooperation with local hosts, provide the program for the cruises on the tour. Generally, there are three to four 1 ½ hour cruises a day for groups of up to 30 adults and children age 9 and above. On cruises, participants experience hands-on science as they sample and analyze lake water. There are presentations about the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan, the U.S. EPA Lake Michigan Forum, and local issues of concern. On the vessel are informational handouts for the public and some space for displays from local groups. The 2008 LaMP update is highlighted on the tour (

Information gathered on the tour about lakewide concerns helps the Lake Michigan Forum with its mission, which is to be a public input group to the U.S. EPA’s Lake Michigan efforts. For more details about the tour, contact Dr. Janet Vail, GVSU-AWRI Associate Professor and Co-Chair, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Lake Michigan Forum, [phone: (616) 331-3048 or].

Member Projects

Forum members are involved with many projects.

Ms. Kae DonLevy

Managing the WI CLean Marina Program. Coordinating the Gatheirng Waters F… Read More

Ms. Kathy Evans

The restoration of coastal habitats, the cleanup of legacy pollution and th… Read More

Mr. Bill Hafs

Agriculture nonpoint control, Northern pike habitat restoration, buffer str… Read More

Ms. Vicky Harris

Fox River TMDL analysis for total maximum daily loads of phosphorus and sus… Read More

Mr. Martin Jaffe

Water supply planning and policy… Read More

Ms. Angela Larsen

Coordinate multi-jurisdictional planning, monitoring, and grant submissions… Read More

Ms. Kathy Luther

Comprehensive regional planning for Northwest Indiana that will protect Lak… Read More

Mr. Greg Mund

Wildlife Habitat restoration; Contaminated sediment clean-ups; Public parti… Read More

Ms. Kay Nelson

Great Lakes Compact, historical (passage) and current implementation activi… Read More

Mr. Todd Parker

Harbor & Marina Eco-EMS work… Read More

Ms. Henrietta Saunders

Public outreach on the importance of improving, conserving, protecting, fun… Read More

Mr. Bill Schleizer

Nature resource valuation and ecosystem markets.… Read More

Mr. Larry Smith

Domestic and international resource management, ecosystem rehabilitation, d… Read More

Dr. Janet Vail Ph.D

The Making Lake Michigan Tour, which is onboard public outreach and eductio… Read More

Ms. Barbara Waller

Environmental education and out-of-doors learning programs for school-age c… Read More