The Great Lakes Compact, signed into federal law in 2008, is a historic agreement developed to protect the Great Lakes by regulating how its waters are used and managed. According to the agreement, the waters of the Great Lakes must stay within the Great Lakes Basin and must be managed to meet the needs of all citizens who live there.

The Compact allows for only a few narrowly defined exceptions to the ban on diverting water outside the Basin. Diversion applications that do not meet the Compact’s strict criteria for exceptions to the ban cannot be approved. Failure to enforce the Great Lakes Compact by allowing unlawful diversions will jeopardize the integrity of this important legislation and the Great Lakes.

Join us as we band together as protectors of the Great Lakes —

As a concerned citizen of the Great Lakes region, I take seriously my responsibility to protect our shared natural resources. Therefore, I pledge my public support for the following core principles of the Great Lakes Compact:

  • Great Lakes water must not be sent outside the Basin except in very limited circumstances.

  • Exceptions to the ban on diversions shall be limited to those that meet all criteria in the legislation, including that the water be used primarily for the benefit of residential households.

  • All Great Lakes states will enforce the Compact using a consistent standard to review proposed diversions and other uses of Great Lakes water.


Under the Public Trust Doctrine, state governments in the Great Lakes region have a shared obligation to protect and conserve Great Lakes waters on behalf of all citizens and for future generations. This concept is at the heart of the Great Lakes Compact. When you sign the pledge, you send a message to policy makers and elected officials that you support the Compact and you hold elected officials accountable to their public trust responsibilities.


League of Women Voters of Michigan

League of Women Voters of Winnebago County (Wisconsin)

League of Women Voters Greater Lafayette

League of Women Voters - Whitewater Area

League of Women Voters Leelanau County

League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania

League of Women Voters of Michigan

Grassroots North Shore

League of Women Voters - LaCrosse, WI

League of Women Voters - Wisconsin

League of Women Voters Milwaukee County

League of Women Voters Ohio

League of Women Voters Door County

League of Women Voters Indiana

For Love of Water (FLOW)

League of Women Voters Lake Michigan Region

League of Women Voters of New York State

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay

Save The River, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper

River Alliance of Wisconsin

League of Women Voters -Minnesota

Lakefront Brewery

League of Women Voters - Janesville

Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes Foundation

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Milwaukee Sail & Power Squadron