ANN ARBOR, MICH. (December 16, 2016) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today urged the incoming Trump Administration to follow through on its commitment to support federal restoration efforts of the Great Lakes, which supply drinking water to more than 30 million people in the eight-state region of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana.
The Coalition delivered a plan for 2017 Great Lakes restoration to the Trump Administration that builds on the solid foundation that has been laid over the last 10 years by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress. Read the plan here.
“The Trump Administration has a great opportunity to build on the bipartisan work of the last decade on behalf of the more than 30 million people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are producing results, but we have more work to do.
Presidential leadership has been vital to our successes to date, and we look forward to working with the Trump Administration to make sure restoring the Great Lakes remains a national priority. Scaling back our efforts will only make problems worse and more expensive to solve.”
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is reaching out to the Trump Administration as the president-elect continues to build his leadership team and set his first year priorities. During the presidential campaign, a representative from the Trump campaign attended the Coalition’s annual Great Lakes restoration conference, pledging to support ongoing federal Great Lakes restoration programs.
The 145-member Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is asking the Trump Administration to:
- Fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million to restore fish and wildlife habitat to support outdoor recreation economy; clean up toxic pollution to uphold health and business development; fight invasive species to protect to protect recreational opportunities; and reduce runoff from farm fields and city streets to prevent harmful algal blooms.
- Fund actions to keep non-native Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and wreaking havoc on the environment and economy in the region.
- Invest in the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure that every person in the country has access to safe, clean, and affordable water to drink and to recreate in.
- Uphold the Clean Water Act to ensure that progress in restoring the Great Lakes is not undermined by weakening bedrock laws that have been instrumental to the progress in protecting clean water in urban and rural communities across the Great Lakes region and across the United States.
- Provide leadership in helping the region meet its commitment to reduce harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes, such as the 2014 bloom in western Lake Erie that left more than 400,000 people in the Greater Toledo, Ohio, area without safe drinking water for three days.
- Engage the public in ongoing planning and implementation of Great Lakes restoration efforts to ensure that the benefits of federal restoration efforts reach the diverse people and communities that make up the region.
Over the past seven years, the U.S. Congress has invested more than $2.2 billion to restore the Great Lakes in more than 2,900 local projects tied to a strategy developed and supported by the region’s businesses, industry, conservation leaders, tribes, mayors, states, and state and federal agencies. These projects have restored more than 150,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat; opened up fish access to more than 3,400 miles of rivers; helped farmers—in combination with other programs—implement conservation programs on more than 1 million acres of rural working lands; and accelerated the cleanup of toxic hotspots by delisting three formerly contaminated sites. In the previous two decades before the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, only one site identified as a toxic hotspot had been delisted.
“Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are paying off for our environment and economy,” said Chad Lord, policy director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We stand ready and willing to roll up our sleeves and work with the Trump Administration and U.S. Congress to keep federal Great Lakes restoration efforts on track. The people, communities and businesses in the Great Lakes are counting on us to see the job through to the end.”
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 145 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at www.healthylakes.org or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.