ANN ARBOR, MICH. (May 22, 2019) – U.S. House appropriators have voted to boost federal investments in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, from $300 million to $320 million. The popular and effective program helps local communities clean up toxic pollution, manage invasive species, and reduce runoff pollution. Funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a top priority for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, which heralded the move by House appropriators as essential to protect a resource that provides drinking water to more than 30 million people in the United States.
“This is excellent news for the 30 million people who count on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and quality of life,” said Chad Lord, policy director, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We applaud members of the House appropriations committee – in particular Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) – for supporting programs that are producing results for communities across the region. The funding increase acknowledges that serious threats remain and we have a lot more work to do. The nation cannot afford to scale back our commitment to the Great Lakes.”
Great Lakes members on the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee include: Rep. McCollum, chair; Rep. Joyce, ranking member; Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), and Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.). Other Great Lakes members on the House Appropriations Committee include: Reps. Kaptur, Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.).
The vote to increase Great Lakes Restoration Investments came as House appropriators voted on a slew of funding bills over the last two days that support key Great Lakes programs, including bills to fund drinking water and wastewater infrastructure nationally, as well as activities to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The funding bills now go to the full House for a vote. The U.S. Senate has yet to take up its funding bills.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provides resources for local communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.