The Freshwater Forum at Cranbrook Institute of Science is the umbrella initiative for all of the Institute’s freshwater and environmental science programming delivered both at Cranbrook and through physical outreach. In existence for the past eight years, the Freshwater Forum has impacted over 500,000 individuals statewide, many of them K-12 students living in southeastern Michigan. Key activities carried out by the Freshwater Forum include K-12 education (onsite at Cranbrook and throughout the region via outreach), teacher training and professional development, development and delivery of community “Water Festivals” throughout Michigan, and the convening and organization of water and environmental conversations between the public, municipal and corporate stakeholders leading to collaborative actions that benefit the health of the Great Lakes.


Healthy, flourishing Great Lakes for all generations to come.


To educate, motivate and promote stewardship for the health and conservation of the Great Lakes among all citizens, particularly those living inland of Great Lakes’ coastlines.


The Freshwater Forum uses timely exhibits, programs and conversations to drive home the fact that the preservation of the Great Lakes begins in our own backyards. The Forum helps citizens connect the results of their daily actions to the overall health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, building a new generation of advocates who preserve and protect our most valuable natural resource - the Great Lakes. The Freshwater Forum impacts those it touches in ways that are far-reaching and long lasting, establishing the attitudes and actions necessary to bring about true environmental change.

Freshwater Forum Programs

Rouge River Waterfestival

Great Lakes Resources