February 05, 2020
STATEMENT BY HOWARD A. LEARNER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY CENTER
CHICAGO — “The Environmental Law & Policy Center commends the U.S. House of Representatives for its strong bipartisan vote reauthorizing and increasing funding to $375 million in 2022 for the successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). 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. We look forward to the Senate passing this important legislation.
“President Trump’s ongoing War on the Great Lakes, including rollbacks of the Clean Water Rule and other vital clean water safeguards, makes reauthorizing GLRI for five more years even more important. Protecting clean water for fisheries and outdoor recreation, and ensuring safe drinking water for all is not a partisan issue in the politically pivotal Midwest states.
“The Great Lakes provide drinking water supplies to 42 million people. Reauthorizing GLRI for the next five years with increased funding is necessary to combat harmful algae blooms in western Lake Erie, Green Bay and Lake Superior, and threats of invasive species, among other challenges. More intense rain storms driven by climate change create significantly more stress on Great Lakes infrastructure and the ecosystem.
“The next five-year GLRI funding cycle should ramp up to $475 million annually, which would bring the program back to the original FY 2010 level of $475 million.
“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.”