Michigan Elected Officials React to House Passage of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand funding for the Great Lakes in the House of Representatives. This House bill is the same as the bill introduced by Stabenow and Peters in the U.S. Senate, S. 2295.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act would reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is set to expire at the end of FY 2021, for another five years. This bill increases the current authorization level from $300 million to $375 million in FY 2022 and increases funding by $25 million per year until it reaches $475 million in FY 2026. The bill now awaits action from the U.S. Senate.

“This Initiative is a major success story and the most significant investment ever made to restore and protect our Great Lakes,” said Senator Stabenow. “That’s why both Republicans and Democrats are united in support. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass our bill immediately.”

“I’ve seen firsthand the impacts the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has on our waters, our land, and our communities — from restoring habitats to combatting invasive species,” said Senator Peters. “I am proud the companion to our legislation passed the House to protect the Great Lakes, which are an economic driver for the nation and source of drinking water for millions of people.”

Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) co-sponsored to expand funding to protect the Great Lakes. H.R. 4031 will reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for another five years and increase authorized funding for the program from $300 million annually to $475 million annually by Fiscal Year 2026.

“The strength of Michigan’s economy is directly tied to the long-term health of the Great Lakes,” said Walberg. “As stewards of the Great Lakes, it is incumbent on us to take care of them so that future generations can enjoy their beauty and economic benefits. I am proud to join my colleagues in this bipartisan effort to expand the GLRI’s impact and ability to support additional clean up projects.”

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is critical in cleaning up our Great Lakes and waterways, and addressing problems that directly impact public health and safety. The Initiative has focused efforts to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species, restore coastline and prevent future contamination. The Initiative has cleaned up environmentally damaged Areas of Concern including White Lake in West Michigan and Deer Lake in the Upper Peninsula. It has reduced phosphorus runoff and the threat of harmful algal blooms like those seen in Lake Erie, and restored wildlife habitats for hunting and fishing over thousands of miles of rivers and waterways.

Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $2.5 billion to fund over 4,700 projects throughout the Great Lakes, including $762 million for 880 projects in Michigan.

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*From the Offices of U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow; and U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg*