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, such as:

  • Phosphorus and nitrogen input and movement through the food web
  • Phytoplankton and zooplankton populations
  • Fish diet and distribution

The research areas are tailored to the unique challenges and data gaps associated with each lake.

CSMI partners include the International Joint Commission, the U.S. EPA, the Great Lakes Regional Research Information Network (GLRRIN), Great Lakes Sea Grant programs, businesses, non-profits, government entities and tribes, and academic researchers. Data collection often takes place aboard the EPA’s research vessel, the R/V Lake Guardian.

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: