The Alliance for the Great Lakes is the oldest independent citizens' organization devoted 100 percent to the Great Lakes. The professional staff works with scientists, policymakers, businesses, community groups and everyday citizens to protect and restore the world's largest surface freshwater resource. The Alliance has many program areas. CSI forms a hub of activity and information around the Calumet Region. It helps the Alliance and its partner organizations work across organizational and jurisdictional boundaries to achieve its mission.
Alliance for the Great Lakes
The Alliance is dedicated to fostering an ethic of learning, appreciation and care for the Great Lakes. We offer two educational curricula: Great Lakes in My World, an educator resource for kindergarten through 12th-grade that addresses Common Core and Great Lakes state learning standards, and Adopt-a-Beach™, a service-learning and citizen science program tailored to all ages. The Great Lakes in My World curriculum is now a core component of the Calumet Is My Backyard (CIMBY) project, which works with more than 500 students in grades 9-12 from Chicago’s South Side every year to improve natural sites and bring science lessons to life.
Adopt-a-Beach™ is the Alliance’s premier volunteer program, with some 10,000 annual participants ranging from individuals and families to schools and businesses. The Adopt-a-Beach™ Program is more than just a beach sweep: teams conduct litter removal and monitoring, and also complete a beach health assessment form that includes science-based observation and testing. Information collected by the teams is entered into the Alliance’s Adopt-a-Beach™ online system and is used to educate the public, inform local beach authorities, and improve our beaches. Check out our map of beaches!
Coastal Conservation Program
The Great Lakes' coasts support the most valuable diversity of fish, wildlife, and plant life in the region. The Alliance helps states, cities and private landowners execute strategies to protect and restore these priceless freshwater shorelines and stop the destruction of existing habitats. To do this, the Alliance’s Coastal Conservation program builds coalitions to implement watershed planning and on-the-ground ecological restoration, outreach and monitoring projects.
Alliance staff support CSI with technical expertise and strategic guidance by attending working group meetings, applying for grant funding, and facilitating partnerships among CSI members. Currently, the Alliance is working with agencies, non-profits and communities to implement a set of bi-state restoration and recreational economic development projects in the Calumet region.
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