Regional organizations release annual joint priorities for the Great Lakes
Ann Arbor, Mich. – In advance of Great Lakes Day events next week, a binational coalition of regional agencies, legislators, local communities, tribes, and business, maritime and environmental groups today released shared priorities for restoring the Great Lakes and supporting the region’s economy. Great Lakes Day, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 2, is an annual event that brings together regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies. New this year, the regional partners will also host a series of virtual topical sessions on Great Lakes priorities throughout the week of February 28 through March 4.
“Our organizations support these priorities to accelerate progress, foster equity, build resilience, and ensure the Great Lakes are a source of drinking water, environmental treasure, and economic engine for North America,” the priorities read. “We commend the historic federal investment in Great Lakes restoration, water infrastructure, and climate resilience through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act… and appreciate Congress’ recognition that supplemental appropriations will accelerate progress for important restoration and infrastructure programs in addition to annual appropriations.”
The agenda urges Congress and the Biden administration to: appropriate no less than $400 million for the GLRI in FY 2023 in addition to the supplemental investment through the recent infrastructure legislation; invest in drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to tackle historic inequities; enhance the region’s resiliency to the impacts of a changing climate; develop coordinated regional science and workforce opportunities; strengthen Great Lakes ports and the maritime transportation system; support federal programs to address harmful algal blooms; and protect the Great Lakes basin from invasive carp and other aquatic invasive species.
The 2022 Great Lakes 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, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, American Great Lakes Ports Association, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus, the Lake Carriers’ Association, and the Great Lakes Business Network.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Todd L. Ambs, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (retired), 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.