Great Lakes Platform for 2020

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition calls on presidential candidates to support a strong Great Lakes platform to protect our drinking water and quality of life.

The Great Lakes supply drinking water to more than 30 million people in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and New York.

Unfortunately the lakes and drinking water face serious threats—from toxic PFAS contamination in Grand Rapids, Mich., to harmful algal blooms in Toledo, Ohio, to sewage contamination in communities across the region. It’s not just Flint. With so many of our cities and towns living with unsafe drinking water we need more – not less – protections and funding for clean water.

Federal investments have cleaned and restored some of the worst problem areas. But more needs to be done.

That’s why the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is asking presidential candidates to stand up for our Great Lakes, drinking water, public health, jobs, and quality of life. We’re asking White House aspirants to:

  • Support $475 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
  • Triple funding to fix drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Uphold and enforce clean water protections.
  • Reduce harmful algal blooms across the region.
  • Prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.

Presidential leadership is essential to protect the drinking water of millions of people. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is asking presidential candidates to explain how they will enforce clean water laws and support Great Lakes and clean water programs in annual budget proposals.

The next president needs to act with urgency, because scaling back federal efforts will make the problems worse and more costly to solve. Climate change is already exacerbating these threats, such as runoff pollution. And many of the region’s most vulnerable communities—including people who are poor, people of color, and people in rural communities—are the ones who are most impacted by unhealthy water.

It’s time to put an end to drinking water restrictions, fish consumption advisories, and closed beaches. We have manageable solutions that will help provide safe, clean and affordable water to all of the people who call the region home. It is time for the next president of the United States to use them.