I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who supported the Alliance this year. Whether you volunteered, donated, told your elected officials how important the Great Lakes are, or shared your passion for the lakes with friends and family, you made a real difference.
With your support, we’ve made important progress on protecting the lakes so they can be enjoyed by you and everyone who calls this region home. Here is just a snapshot of what you helped us accomplish this year:
Advocacy & Leadership
- We secured a critical funding partnership between Michigan and Illinois, enabling progress on new protections in Illinois to prevent invasive carp from reaching Lake Michigan.
- We successfully advocated for congressional funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $375 million per year, increasing to $475 million per year by 2026, ensuring more on-the-ground restoration and cleanup projects around the lakes.
- We partnered with environmentalists of color in Ohio to develop a first-of-its-kind statewide environmental justice policy platform, coalescing recommendations covering water, land, air, and energy into a roadmap to address Ohio’s environmental justice issues.
Education & Action
- We marked the 30th anniversary of the Adopt-a-Beach program. Today more than 15,000 volunteers participate annually across all five lakes and all eight Great Lakes states.
- We launched the nonpartisan Cleveland Environmental Resident Engagement Toolkit, developed in partnership with more than a dozen community groups, to help Cleveland residents learn about environmental issues at stake in the mayoral and city council elections and get involved.
Research & Analysis
- We released policy recommendations, along with partners, to overhaul zoning rules for Chicago’s Calumet River and Lake Michigan industrial corridor, which faces unjust siting of polluting industries.
- We issued our first Cost to Comply report, detailing the investment and accountability needed to dramatically reduce farm runoff to Green Bay and the Lower Fox River. We’re now applying this method to stop the agricultural pollution that feeds algal blooms in Lake Erie.
- We educated Detroiters about the causes of the disastrous June floods that damaged thousands of homes and businesses and caused massive sewage overflows – and showed opportunities to use nature-based infrastructure to help alleviate the problems.
There is so much more to share than I can put in one blog post, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks so much for your generosity and support.
I hope you will stay with the Alliance throughout 2022 so we can accomplish even more together.