The mission of the Discovery Center~Great Lakes was developed by the four original partners in 2006 to reflect what each partner brought to the campus, but also to establish a framework for future growth an planning. It is:
Create and maintain a collaborative educational facility where children, youth, and adults can learn the value of historic preservation, the importance of environmental stewardship, the joy of discovery, and the pleasure of water-based recreation as well as to provide support to the member water related charitable organizations for their respective operations and missions.
In 2016, it became summarized in the tagline that it now shares with the Discovery Pier:
History – Education – Stewardship – Recreation