What is CSMI?

Since 2002, environmental organizations from the United States and Canada have teamed up each year to assess conditions in one of the five Great Lakes. This program is called the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI).

Each year, the survey focuses on a series of research areas that are tailored to the unique challenges and data gaps associated with each lake. The activities are conducted in response to priorities established by the Lake Partnerships of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Lakewide Management Annex and documented in Lakewide Action and Management Plans (LAMPs).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Great Lakes National Program Office and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) organize the binational program. CSMI partners include the International Joint Commission, NOAA, USGS, state and provincial government entities and tribal nations, the Great Lakes Sea Grant programs, businesses, non-profits, and academic researchers. Data collection often takes place aboard the EPA’s research vessel, the R/V Lake Guardian, and is complemented by the monitoring conducted from partners’ vessels and research platforms.

Lake Rotation

  • Lake Huron: 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017
  • Lake Ontario: 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018
  • Lake Erie: 2004, 2009, 2014, 2019
  • Lake Michigan: 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020
  • Lake Superior: 2006, 2011, 2016, 2021

For more detailed information about each CSMI year as it becomes available, check out the new website, greatlakescsmi.org

Additional background can be found here: