Health of the Lakes and Strength of Local Economies Relies on Reauthorization of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

February 6, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 6, 2024) – Today, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH), Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Representative David Joyce (R-OH) sponsored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act of 2024, a bill intended to reauthorize the GLRI program for a five-year period at $500 million per year.

GLRI funding assists states, tribes and local communities in implementing crucial on-the-ground projects, including habitat restoration, helping farmers do more to combat non-point source agrichemical run-off, cleaning up legacy pollution and toxic sediments, and preventing the establishment or spread of destructive invasive species. It is a well-established program that helps protect 22% of the world’s source of freshwater.

“The Alliance would like to thank Senators Stabenow and Vance, and Representatives Dingell and Joyce for sponsoring bipartisan legislation to continue this important program that directly benefits the tens of millions of Americans living in the Great Lakes region,” said Don Jodrey, Alliance for the Great Lakes Director of Federal Government Relations.

“As members of the Great Lakes Task Forces, many champions from both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have tirelessly advocated for the GLRI and the Alliance thanks them for their support,” said Jodrey.

“The creation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is one of the most important actions of my legislative career.  Since I authored the program in 2010, it has been a proven success story,” said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. “This bill will ensure the stability and future of the program as we address new emerging threats to our Great Lakes and waters.”

“The Great Lakes provide more than 1.5 million jobs, supply 90 percent of our nation’s fresh surface water, and generate $62 billion in wages every year,” said Congressman Joyce, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supports efforts that confront direct threats facing the lakes like harmful algal blooms, water pollution, invasive species, and coastal erosion. I am proud to be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reintroduce this critical legislation to protect and preserve the national treasure that is the Great Lakes ecosystem.”

To date, the GLRI program has funded more than 7,563 individual projects totaling $3.7 billion, greatly improving the quality of life throughout the region. The GLRI also provides major economic benefits, as it is estimated that for every dollar spent, an additional three dollars of value is added to the regional economy.

### 

Contact: Don Carr, Media Director, dcarr@greatlakes.org

More about Great Lakes Restoration

Read more about Great Lakes restoration and the GLRI.

Learn More