Regional organizations release annual joint priorities for the Great Lakes

Mar 4, 2024 | News and Announcements

Washington, D.C. – A binational coalition of regional agencies, Indigenous Nations, legislators, local communities, and business, maritime and environmental groups today released shared priorities for restoring the Great Lakes and supporting the region’s economy. The priorities were released in advance of Great Lakes Day, an annual event that brings together regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies.

Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is an enduring, bipartisan priority for the nation and for Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin communities,” the priorities read. “Our organizations support the following priorities to accelerate progress, foster equity, build resilience, and ensure the Great Lakes are a source of drinking water, an environmental treasure, and an economic engine for North America.

The agenda urges Congress and the Biden administration to: capitalize on investments in Great Lakes restoration, including by appropriating no less than $450 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in FY 2025; ensure water infrastructure investments tackle historic inequities; enhance the Great Lakes’ resiliency to the impacts of climate change; develop coordinated regional science plans; strengthen Great Lakes ports and the maritime transportation system; support federal actions to address harmful algal blooms; take action to address emerging contaminants; and protect the Great Lakes basin from invasive carp and other aquatic invasive species.

The priorities are endorsed by the Great Lakes CommissionGreat Lakes Fishery Commission, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes CoalitionGreat Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities InitiativeChippewa Ottawa Resource AuthorityGreat Lakes Metro Chambers CoalitionAmerican Great Lakes Ports Association, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus, Great Lakes Business Network, and Lake Carriers’ Association.

The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Mary Mertz, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 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


For media inquiries, please contact Beth Wanamaker,

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