Lindsey Bacigal, BacigalL@nwf.org, (734) 887-7113
Jordan Lubetkin, Lubetkin@nwf.org, (734) 904-1589
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (DECEMBER 16, 2021)—The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and 63 of its members are urging the Biden Administration to fully fund Great Lakes restoration efforts that clean up toxic pollution, restore wildlife habitat, reduce runoff pollution, and fight invasive species. In a letter sent yesterday to the director the Office of Management and Budget, the Coalition is urging the Biden Administration to request $400 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the president’s annual budget, expected in February. Read the letter on our website.
“Federal investments to restore and protect the Great Lakes have been producing results in communities across the region,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “However, urgent problems remain, and much work still needs to be done to ensure that everyone in the region has access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. We hope that the Biden Administration shows its support for the Great Lakes and our drinking water by fully funding this important program.”
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has supported more than 6,000 projects in the eight-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in support of clean drinking water, heathy communities, and recreational opportunities. These efforts are helping communities clean up toxic pollution to protect the health of people, reduce farm runoff to safeguard drinking water, and restore fish and wildlife habitat to support outdoor recreation.
“The Great Lakes still face urgent problems, and much work needs to be done,” the Coalition writes in its letter to OMB. “Dwindling habitat, invasive species, and toxic pollutants threaten the region, endangering human and wildlife health, lowering property values, and hurting the region’s economy. Moreover, emerging contaminants and a changing climate continue to exacerbate the challenges we face, many of which disproportionately impact people that have historically borne the brunt of environmental injustice. Allowing these problems to get worse will only put our communities at risk and make them more expensive to solve.”
Since 2004, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has been harnessing the collective power of more than 170 groups representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at HealthyLakes.org or follow us on Twitter @HealthyLakes.