Regional organizations release annual joint priorities for the Great Lakes
ANN ARBOR, MI – In advance of Great Lakes Day this week, 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. Great Lakes Day is an annual event that brings together regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies. Great Lakes Day will be held in-person in Washington, D.C. for the first time since March 2020.
“Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is an enduring, bipartisan priority for the nation and for Great Lakes basin communities,” the priorities read. “Support of these priorities will 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: appropriate no less than $425 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in FY 2024, in addition to the supplemental investment through the infrastructure legislation; ensure water infrastructure investments tackle historic inequities; enhance the Great Lakes’ resiliency to the impacts of a changing climate; develop coordinated regional science plans; strengthen Great Lakes ports and the maritime transportation system; support federal actions to address harmful algal blooms; and protect the Great Lakes basin from invasive carp and other aquatic invasive species.
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, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, American 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 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.