March 10, 2022
STATEMENT BY HOWARD LEARNER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY CENTER
“Today, the Environmental Law & Policy Center submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies in support of full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for Fiscal Year 2023 with at least the authorized $400 million for FY 2023 and, hopefully, consider a higher amount. Read the full testimony here.
“Since its establishment in 2008, GLRI funds have been effectively deployed to protect safe clean drinking water supplies, clean up toxic sites, protect wetlands and shorelines, hold off invasive species from entering the Great Lakes, and safeguard aquatic resources. Restoring the Great Lakes creates substantial environmental, public health, and recreational benefits, as well as fostering economic growth. GLRI is a program that has worked very well and has demonstrated successes.
“The Great Lakes are a global gem. They contain 21% of the planet’s fresh water supply, and 42 million people rely on the Great Lakes for safe drinking water supplies. They provide a rich aquatic habitat for many species. They support a $7 billion annual fishing industry, and Great Lakes recreation draws millions of tourists who boost the economies of shoreline communities. In short, the Great Lakes are where many millions of people live, work and play.
“ELPC strongly supported reauthorization of the GLRI and the ramp up of funding to $475 million in 2026, matching the funding that the program received in its initial year. We request that the Committee fully fund the GLRI program with at least the authorized $400 million for FY 2023 and, hopefully, consider a higher amount.”