The Great Lakes of North America are one of the world's most important natural resources. The source of vast quantities of fish, shipping lanes, hydroelectric energy, and usable water, they are also increasingly the site of severe environmental degradation and resource contamination. This study analyzes how well governments and other stakeholders are addressing this critical problem. Using original findings from surveys, interviews, and other documents, Mark Sproule-Jones looks at how various levels of government are attempting to restore the environment in the Great Lakes. He examines successes and failures and identifies the kinds of institutions that promote sound decision making, concluding that bureaucracies charged with constructing these institutions often overlook key design principles.