Coastal habitats of the Great Lakes are complex, dynamic systems that support high production of both resident and migratory species, are centers for regional biodiversity, and process and export materials that support production and water quality in the lakes proper. The ecosystem services provided by coastal landscapes and habitats are vital for humans in that they maintain the landscapes that motivate humans to reside in or visit the Great Lakes. The USGS is uniquely positioned to conduct coastal ecosystem research on many scales (e.g., microbial analysis to landscape development) because as an agency our research capabilities extend from the headwaters of watersheds to the deepest habitats in the Great Lakes. The Center has both biological expertise and the ability to create teams that include physical scientists with specialized knowledge and expertise. Center research will occur across multiple scales and disciplines and explore the connectivity between the lakes and between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem processes in a dynamic environment.