Great Lakes Restoration
Great Lakes restoration investments are producing results in Illinois. Fish and wildlife are returning as habitat is restored and pollution is cleaned up. We can’t cut funding now—delays will only make problems more expensive and harder to solve.
Federal Investments are Producing Results in Illinois
From 2009 through 2017, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has invested $267 million in 193 projects in Illinois to restore habitat, fight invasive species, clean up toxic pollution, and reduce polluted runoff. Formerly industrialized sites like Northerly Island are being reclaimed as green spaces. Rare ravine ecosystems to the north of Chicago are being restored to filter runoff before it enters Lake Michigan. And polluted beaches like the one near North Point Marina are being restored for swimming once more.
But Serious Threats Remain
Lake Michigan continues to be threatened by toxic pollutants on old brownfield sites. Wildlife habitat has been drowned out by city growth and expansion. And to keep drinking water and wastewater safe, Illinois needs $25.9 billion over the next 20 years to repair and replace crumbling infrastructure. We need the federal government to continue partnering with Illinois to invest in Great Lakes restoration and affordable water infrastructure to protect our lakes.
Contact Your Member of Congress
Let your members of congress know they should take action to protect the Great Lakes! Find out how to contact your senators and representative here. Tell them:
- The Great Lakes are our most important source of fresh water, providing drinking water to 30 million people. We must continue our efforts to clean and restore them.
- Although we have made progress the lakes still face serious threats.
- We can’t afford to stop now. These projects to clean up our lakes will only get harder and more expensive the longer we wait.
FEATURED SUCCESS STORY
Wildlife Corridor Established Along Lake Shore Drive
Migratory birds and butterflies have a safe place to stop over, thanks to the Burnham Wildlife Corridor. Invasive species have been removed and volunteers have planted thousands of native trees and shrubs in their place.