In the 1980s, the Great Lakes region was labeled the Rust
Belt. Following a dramatic recovery led by the Great Lakes Governors,
the region is now competing in the global marketplace and
protecting the world's largest single source of fresh water.
The Council of Great Lakes Governors is a non-partisan partnership of the Governors of the eight Great Lakes States - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In 1983, the region’s Governors joined forces to create the Council and tackle the severe environmental and economic challenges then facing the citizens of their States. In more recent years, the Premiers of Ontario and Québec have joined with the Governors in advancing the high performance economy of the Great Lakes region.
The Great Lakes Governors share a dual stewardship for both the
world’s single largest source of fresh water and the economic
heartland of North America. The Great Lakes contain one fifth of
the world’s fresh water. The region generates nearly 30% of our nation’s gross domestic product and about 60% of all U.S. manufacturing. Today, the Council's Governors lead strategic alliances to protect
our region's natural resources and sustain our world-class
economy. The Governors' belief is that sound environmental policy makes good economic