Regional organizations urge Congress to invest in Great Lakes infrastructure
Ann Arbor, Mich. – A coalition of regional agencies, legislators, mayors, and business and environmental groups urged Congressional leaders to include key Great Lakes priorities in upcoming infrastructure legislation. The groups communicated their priorities through a joint letter following the release of President Biden’s infrastructure investment plan earlier this year and ongoing negotiations on the Hill.
“Investments in water infrastructure, commercial navigation, environmental restoration, and resilience will create jobs, foster equity for underserved communities, and strengthen the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes region for future generations,” reads the letter. “Our agencies and organizations – representing the Great Lakes states, cities, conservation groups, ports, and business – strongly support robust investments in these areas. These investments will address longstanding basin-wide priorities while stimulating economic activity in hard-hit communities throughout our region.”
The coalition urges Congress to accelerate the bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; invest in drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure; ensure the Great Lakes economy, environment, and communities are resilient to the impacts of a changing climate; and strengthen Great Lakes ports and the maritime transportation system.
The priorities are endorsed by the Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, American Great Lakes Ports Association, and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Sharon M. Jackson, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Eric J. Holcomb of Indiana, is a binational government agency established in 1955 to protect the Great Lakes and the economies and ecosystems they support. Its membership includes leaders from the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin. The GLC recommends policies and practices to balance the use, development, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes and brings the region together to work on issues that no single community, state, province, or nation can tackle alone. Learn more at www.glc.org.