Press Statement

Statement: U.S. Senate votes to block bill rolling back Great Lakes protections

April 18, 2018

Chicago, IL (4/18/18) – Earlier today, the U.S. Senate blocked the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 from moving forward because it contained a poison pill for our nation’s waterways. The legislation contains the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) which would weaken rules that protect the Great Lakes from invasive species, putting the lakes at risk.

“Today’s vote by the Senate brought a sigh of relief for the Great Lakes region. The U.S. Senate stood up to protect the Great Lakes by blocking the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, which contains a provision that would rollback rules protecting the lakes. This means Clean Water Act protections will continue to apply to ballast water discharges, which are the main pathway for aquatic invasive species introductions into the Great Lakes.

The people of the Great Lakes region have spoken out repeatedly against this legislation and today they have won. Aquatic invasive species have caused irreparable harm to the Great Lakes ecosystem and cost the region billions of dollars since the late 1980s.

We thank Great Lakes region Senators Schumer (NY), Durbin (IL), Stabenow (MI),  Baldwin (WI), Peters (MI), Klobuchar (MN), Gillibrand (NY), Brown (OH), and Smith (MN) who voted today to block this bad bill from going forward.”


Media contact: Jennifer Caddick,, (312) 445-9760