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March 17th 2015

House Republicans, Democrats Unite in Push to Restore Great Lakes Funding

In a strong show of bi-partisan support for federal Great Lakes restoration efforts, 51 Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives today sent a letter to key appropriators, urging them to fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million. President Obama proposed cutting the initiative from $300 million to $250 million in his recently released budget.

Read the letter here.

U.S. Reps. David Joyce (R-OH), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) spearheaded the letter, which was signed by 17 Republicans and 34 Democrats. More >

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March 17th 2015

Coalition Grants Available to Help Groups Secure Federal Funding

This is just a reminder that the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has up to $104,000 in funding available to help groups participate in federal Great Lakes restoration efforts. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply today if you are interested in this grant.

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, or read the request for proposals and apply.

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March 17th 2015

Recapping Great Lakes Days 2015

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) talks about the importance of protecting the Great Lakes for future generations to enjoy. Rep. Kelly spoke at the Congressional Breakfast during Great Lakes Day 2015. Photo credit: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) talks about the importance of protecting the Great Lakes for future generations to enjoy. Rep. Kelly spoke at the Congressional Breakfast during Great Lakes Day 2015. Photo credit: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

Great Lakes Day was a tremendous success! In February, around 100 Coalition members and partners met with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to advocate for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other Coalition priorities. We’ve heard great things from participants this year – we’re proud to have strong support on Great Lakes issue from both sides of the aisle.


To top it off, we’re already seeing the results of everyone’s hard work. As of today, the U.S. House of Representatives sign on letter in support of bringing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative up to $300 million for FY16 has 51 sign-ons! This is the highest number of co-signers on this letter in GLRI history and shows the incredible work our Coalition members are able to do at Great Lakes Day and throughout the year.

More >

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March 13th 2015

Weekly News Roundup: Harmful Algal Blooms, Isle Royale, and More

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

The Ohio House has unanimously passed a bill seeking to curb farmland runoff that can generate harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Environmental groups believe that the bill is a good first step, but that it doesn’t go far enough in addressing the problem.


The Associated Press reports that two mainland wolves recently crossed the ice in Lake Superior into Isle Royale, but appear to have left without having mated with any of the island’s wolf population. The Isle Royale wolf population has been declining for several years now due to low genetic diversity.


MLive reports that Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congresswoman Candice Miller have introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at halting the advance of Asian carp into the Great Lakes watershed.


The Toledo Blade reports on a conference held at the University of Toledo to discuss the highly polluted Areas of Concern that remain throughout the Great Lakes region. While much progress has been made in cleaning these sites, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the sites can fully recover.


A proposed plan to allow the water levels of Lake Ontario to fluctuate naturally is being debated in upstate New York by local communities and competing interests, according to the New York Times. Lake Ontario’s water levels are artificially regulated and stabilized, which helps prevent the flooding of lakefront property but has also damaged wetland ecosystems and wildlife populations.

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March 9th 2015

Action Alert Reminder: Urge Your Member of Congress Support Full GLRI Funding

This week is the final week for members of congress to sign on to a letter indicating support for restoring funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. President Obama, in his budget for 2016, proposed cutting the GLRI by $50 million, down to $250 million. Please join us in urging your member of congress to sign on to the letter.

So far, 51 members have signed on, including Reps.: David Joyce (R-Ohio), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), 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.), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Dave Trott (R-Mich.), Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Grace Meng (D-NY), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), John Katko (R-NY), and Andre Carson (D-Ind.).

You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You may also reach out to your Representative via twitterThe deadline for sign ons to this letter is Friday, March 13, 2015. Offices should contact

More >

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  • 2015 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    Looking for information about the Great Lakes Restoration Conference? You can find our most recent conference updates on our conference website. This year the conference will be in Chicago, Ill. on September 29, 30, and October 1. We hope to see you there!  

  • 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.