With over 43 percent of Great Lakes waters located in Michigan, as well as the 11,000 lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers, Michigan is truly the Great Lakes State. Southeast Michigan is located next to the Lake Huron to Lake Erie Corridor, which is the connection between the upper, colder Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, and Huron — to the warmer, lower Great Lakes – Erie and Ontario.
Southeast Michigan's watersheds primarily drain to the Lake Huron to Lake Erie Corridor. The water quality of the rivers and lakes within the watersheds, as well as the Huron to Erie Corridor, is directly connected to the activities on the land.
SEMCOG focuses on protecting and restoring Southeast Michigan's water resources. As the designated water quality management agency for Southeast Michigan, as determined under section 208 of the Federal Clean Water Act, SEMCOG's water quality program works to implement the policies and recommendations in the Water Quality Management Plan for Southeast Michigan.
The plan contains water quality management policies on a broad range of issues including infrastructure, monitoring, management, nonpoint source pollution, stormwater, pollution prevention, and public education. These policies are directed to various agencies and organizations that have a role in the stewardship of the region's water resources.