December 21, 2020
STATEMENT BY HOWARD A. LEARNER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY CENTER
Chicago — “The Environmental Law & Policy Center is pleased that Congress has stepped up with a strong bipartisan vote reauthorizing and increasing funding to $375 million in fiscal year 2022 for the successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and then scaling up to $475 million in fiscal year 2026,” said ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner.
“We appreciate Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s sponsorship of the GLRI funding legislation and the Great Lakes delegation’s strong bipartisan support to achieve this progress. The Great Lakes is where we live, work and play. Protecting safe clean drinking water, healthy fisheries and enjoyable outdoor recreation for all is not a partisan issue.
“The Great Lakes provide drinking water supplies to 42 million people. Reauthorizing GLRI for the next five years with increased funding is essential to combat harmful algae blooms in western Lake Erie, Green Bay and Lake Superior, and threats from Asian carp and other invasive species, as well as shoreline wetlands protection and coastal resilience. More intense storms driven by climate change create significantly more stress on Great Lakes infrastructure and the ecosystem.
“Since GLRI was launched in 2010, it has provided essential funding to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface waterbody in the world. GLRI projects protect safe clean drinking water for 42 million people and support a $62 billion economy based on fishing, boating and recreational activities.”