Chicago, IL (November 7, 2018) – Alliance for the Great Lakes President & CEO Joel Brammeier issued the following statement in reaction to yesterday’s midterm election results.

“With seven of eight governorships, eight Senate seats, all members of the House, and numerous state and local offices on the ballot, yesterday’s election touched every corner of the eight Great Lakes states. Many candidates running for office throughout the region included Great Lakes issues in their election platforms. With election day behind us, it’s time for newly elected and returning officeholders to move from campaigning to governing.

The change in party leadership in the House of Representatives will put several members of the Great Lakes delegation in high ranking positions on key committees including the House Appropriations Committee. The region is fortunate to have a number of Great Lakes champions in the Senate as well. The new Congress has an opportunity to show leadership on protecting the Great Lakes, particularly on issues such as funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and ensuring the federal agencies overseeing Great Lakes protection are appropriately funded, staffed, and supported to carry out their job of protecting clean water.

With a divided Congress and hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington, DC, the Great Lakes governors, with 5 newly elected members in their ranks, must play a critical role in protecting the lakes. Our region’s governors have the opportunity to double-down on stopping Asian carp, reducing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and elsewhere, and directing more resources to improve drinking and wastewater infrastructure to protect the health and safety of millions of people living in their states.

Great Lakes water does not stop at state borders. Now more than ever, we need Great Lakes governors to step up and develop strong relationships on regional issues. We urge the governors to meet with their peers early and often, and strengthen the long history of bipartisan partnerships among Great Lakes governors.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes, and all Great Lakers, will be watching closely to be sure elected officials uphold campaign promises and take bold steps to protect and restore the lakes. We urge all elected officials to set aside their partisan election battles and embrace the clean water protections that the Great Lakes and the people who live near them deserve.”

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Media contact: Jennifer Caddick at (312) 445-9760, jcaddick@greatlakes.org