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February 25th 2015

Great Lakes Day 2015 Begins!

Members of the Coalition meet with former Congressman John Dingell during Great Lakes Day 2014. (Photo Credit: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition)

Members of the Coalition meet with former Congressman John Dingell during Great Lakes Day 2014. (Photo Credit: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition)

Great Lakes Day 2015 has begun here in Washington, D.C.! This year, as in past years, we’re here to advocate for Great Lakes restoration. Over the next two days we will urge members of congress to restore funding to critical programs, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. We will also be talking to members of congress about runoff pollution, invasive species, and clean water protections. You can find our issue book and other resources here.

New this year, thanks to the Joyce Foundation, we will be showing members of congress short videos about the impact of the GLRI around the region. You can watch the videos yourself by visiting the Joyce Foundation’s website, or via the links below:

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February 13th 2015

Weekly News Roundup: GLRI, Harmful Algal Blooms, and More

In case you missed this past week in Great Lakes restoration news:

The Columbus Dispatch reports on the opposition from conservation groups, including the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, to President Obama’s proposed funding cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The president’s budget, released last week, cuts funding for the GLRI by $50 million a year. Meanwhile, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to continue and expand funding for the GLRI, reports the Sandusky Register.


Ohio lawmakers are continuing efforts to fight harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie this week, according to the Toledo Blade. The state House agriculture committee held a hearing on the algal blooms on Thursday, while Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order requiring the state EPA to develop emergency rules for the lake.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers believes that Asian carp have not advanced towards the Great Lakes since 2006, reports the Plain Dealer. The Corps is currently conducting studies to develop more effective fish barriers.


Great Lakes Echo reports that the Wisconsin DNR has enacted emergency trout rules reducing the allowable take of lake trout in some parts of Lake Superior. The new rule applies to both commercial and sport anglers.


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February 13th 2015

Coalition Supports New Great Lakes Bill

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (February 12, 2015) – The Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition is supporting a new bill in the U.S. Senate that would help bolster federal efforts to restore the Great Lakes, the source of 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water, which provides drinking water to more than 30 million people. The legislation would authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million annually to help continue successful programs to clean up toxic pollution, combat invasive species, restore fish and wildlife habitat and reduce runoff from cities and farms.


The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act of 2015, SB 504 was introduced today by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). Original co-sponsors also include Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

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February 11th 2015

Coalition Announces Grants for Groups to Participate in Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

ANN ARBOR, MI – Today the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition announced it will be awarding up to $104,000 to help groups participate in federal Great Lakes restoration efforts. The Coalition will be providing seed grants of up to $15,000 to groups that are ready to lead Great Lakes restoration projects, but that may not have all of the needed resources or capacity to go after larger federal grants. Coalition grants help groups create partnerships and do initial studies, baseline measurements, community outreach, or other projects that will make their federal funding application stronger and more competitive. The program funds a variety of Great Lakes restoration work, from projects that benefit wetland conservation and remove invasive species to programs that train citizens to monitor stream health. Coalition member Freshwater Future administers the program.


Read about the grant program and see past recipients at:


Read the request for proposals and apply for the program at:


“We want to make sure that groups large and small have the opportunity to participate in Great Lakes restoration efforts, and this program has helped many organizations do that,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “These grants are producing a solid return on investment for the Great Lakes—and for the groups that are fighting hard to restore and protect them.”

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February 11th 2015

Action Alert: Contact Your Representative, Ask them to Sign On to Support the Great Lakes

At the beginning of February, President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2016, and, once again, programs funding the Great Lakes took a hit. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was cut by $50 million—now $250 million, down from $300 million this year. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a program that provides low interest loans for sewage infrastructure improvements, also was cut. While this move by the administration is disappointing, we are already hearing from members of the Great Lakes congressional delegation that they support restoring GLRI funding, back up to current funding levels—or $300 million.


Several of our Great Lakes champions in congress are now circulating a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking for $300 million for the GLRI, and we’re asking that HOW Coalition members reach out to members of congress and urge them to sign on. You can view the Dear Colleague Letter, which asks for sign-ons. Or look at the letter to House Appropriators on GLRI funding, which asks the appropriations committee to increase GLRI funding to $300 million in 2015.

The current co-signers to the letter are Reps.: David Joyce (R-Ohio), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Tim Walz (D-Minn), Mike Quigley (D-Ill), John Moolenaar (R-Mich), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill), Chris Collins (R-NY), John Conyers (D-Mich), and Paul Tonko (D-NY).

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  • 2015 Great Lakes Days

    Great Lakes Day for 2015 will be happening in Washington, D.C., at the end of February. Each year, the Coalition and others gather in Washington to talk with members of congress about why Great Lakes restoration is important and needed.  

  • Check out the Latest Update from the Field

    Read our latest field update from Michigan. Ducks Unlimited shares the results of their restoration tour with Congressman Dan Benishek. Learn more.


  • Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    Looking for information about the Great Lakes Restoration Conference? Visit the conference website at