Great Lakes Commission releases 2020 Great Lakes federal priorities, reaffirms its leadership role in tackling issues of regional concern

Feb 25, 2020 | News and Announcements

Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission today released its 2020 federal priorities for sustaining the Great Lakes and supporting a thriving regional and national economy. Under the authority of the Great Lakes Basin Compact and on behalf of the Great Lakes states and provinces, the Commission urges Congress and the Administration to invest in priorities that will create economic opportunities, protect public health and revitalize communities across the Great Lakes Basin.

“Thanks to the extraordinary support of our Great Lakes Congressional delegations, the Basin has enjoyed ten years of unprecedented environmental and economic success under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In 2020, we are asking how best to position the Basin in a new decade and beyond,” said Commission Chair Sharon Jackson of Indiana. The Great Lakes Basin Compact established the Great Lakes Commission in part to plan for the welfare and development of the water resources of the Basin as a whole as well as for areas which may have problems of special concern. “Addressing current and future challenges including safe drinking water, invasive species, and harmful algae blooms requires close coordination across the Great Lakes Basin. Moving forward, the Commission looks forward to helping the Basin take real, concrete action on urgent issues of regional concern,” Jackson added.

The priorities also urge Congress and the Administration to: fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; safeguard drinking water and modernize clean water infrastructure; strengthen the Great Lakes navigation system; protect against invasive species; promote conservation; build resilience; and invest in collaborative, data-driven approaches to set shared goals for the Great Lakes Basin and track progress using tools like Blue Accounting.

Commissioners and key staff will visit Washington, D.C. during the first week of March to share the Commission’s priorities and to celebrate Great Lakes Day on Capitol Hill on March 5. Registration for the Great Lakes Day Congressional Breakfast, hosted annually by the Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute, is now open. The Commission’s Semiannual Meeting will be held May 19-21 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Sharon M. Jackson, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Eric J. Holcomb of Indiana, is an interstate compact agency established under the Great Lakes Basin Compact of 1955. The Commission is authorized by state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, industry and nonprofit leaders and agency officials from eight states and two provinces. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission office is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at


For media inquiries, please contact Hannah Reynolds, [email protected].

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