The Lake Michigan Stakeholders originated from a series of discussions between concerned citizens and Wisconsin DNR leaders. These citizens felt that Lake Michigan was suffering from the effects of a lack of coordination across interested groups. These discussions took place over almost an entire year before they decided to bring together stakeholders to form a combined “voice for Lake Michigan.”

The first meeting was held in 2005 at Concordia College. There were over 40 participants representing a range of interests including federal, state and local units of government, universities, non-governmental organizations, tribal nations, and property owners. The meeting objective was to discuss opportunities for improving coordination of restoration efforts on a Lake Michigan Basin scale and consider how we might work more effectively together.


As the group organized itself, a steering committee was created and a vision and mission statement was drafted. By-laws were eventually adopted and a membership survey is sent annually to the almost 200 diverse members.

The group has continued to hold membership meetings on a regular basis since 2005. Currently, membership meetings are held in the spring and fall each year to discuss LMS business, provide presentations and outreach on Lake Michigan topics, and offer networking and information sharing opportunities to members. Much of the group’s recent activity has centered around the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.