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April 28th 2017

Weekly News Roundup: Asian Carp, the EPA, and More

Here’s some of the Great Lakes restoration stories that have been making news this past week:


Amidst reports that the EPA plans to close its regional office in Chicago, Great Lakes legislators from both parties have come together to urge EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to keep the office open. mLive reports on a letter sent to Mr. Pruitt by several Michigan members of the House of Representatives, while reports on the efforts of Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.


A group of Great Lakes stakeholders and advocates will meet in Chicago next month to discuss current threats to the Great Lakes, according to WTTW Chicago. The meeting will convene in the wake of President Trump’s proposal to effectively eliminate federal spending on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.


Water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have been rising all April and may continue rising for several weeks, reports North Country Public Radio. Several shoreline homeowners have blamed Plan 2014, a new water level management plan adopted this past January, while the agencies in charge of managing water levels claim that the floods are caused by a wet spring with heavy rainfall.


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow has criticized the Trump Administration for delaying the release of a report on strategies for keeping Asian carp out of Lake Michigan, reports the Detroit Free Press. The report was originally slated to be released February 28.

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April 26th 2017

Huron River Revitalized by Restoration Project

The Huron River provides many services to its surrounding communities in southeast Michigan. Both local residents and visitors to the area swim and fish in the river, and half a million people rely on it for their drinking water. Unfortunately, urban development funnels stormwater over impervious surfaces into the river, carrying industrial and residential pollutants along with it. The erratic flow of stormwater also alters the Huron’s natural hydrology and disrupts habitat features, impacting the river’s biologic communities. Thanks to $29 million raised by the Ann Arbor, Mich.,-based Huron River Watershed Council and its partner organizations, the Watershed Council has implemented a program called RiverUp! that addresses these threats, celebrates the river’s importance to the region, and works to keep the river relatively healthy. Read more here.

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April 25th 2017

Senate Hears Testimony on Rule Vital to the Health of the Great Lakes

Clean drinking water benefits all of us. The EPA and Army Corps’ rule will restore clean drinking water protections across the United States. Photo from iStock Photo.

On Wednesday, April 25 at 10 a.m. eastern the Senate Environment and Public Works committee will hold a hearing on the Waters of the United States Rule, more commonly known as the Clean Water Rule. You can watch the hearing live, here. To learn more about the Clean Water Rule, read our Frequently Asked Questions page. We’ll be live-tweeting the hearing, so join us on Twitter @healthylakes and check out our social media guide for the hearing. Of particular note for the Great Lakes region is that Sens. Kristin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) are both members of the committee.

The landmark 1972 Clean Water Act took a major step forward in protecting the drinking water in the United States from pollution and toxins. However, starting with a Supreme Court case in 2001, the extent of the waters protected by the Clean Water Act began to become less clear. By 2006 (and a second Supreme Court case) it was obvious that something would be needed to clarify the extent of the Clean Water Act or streams and wetlands throughout the country–which millions rely on for drinking water–would go dangerously unprotected from pollution.

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April 24th 2017

13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference Request for Proposals Now Open

WANTED: Individuals to lead dynamic, engaging and fun field trips and presentations at the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s 13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo, New York, October 17-19, 2017.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is issuing a request for field trips and presentations for the conference. Please share widely with your networks! Deadline for submissions: May 26, 2017.

For more information please read the request for proposals before downloading and filling out the field trip application and/or presentation application. Please return all applications and direct all questions to Celia Haven, Field Manager, at

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April 11th 2017

Coalition Urges Congress to Support Great Lakes Investments

Workers remove invasive species in Michigan, thanks to Great Lakes funding. Photo courtesy of Gail Heffner.

Ann Arbor, Mich. (April 11, 2017) – As the uproar continues over the Trump Administration’s budget proposal to eliminate core Great Lakes programs, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is turning to the U.S. Congress to restore funding to federal programs that are essential in protecting the drinking water for more than 30 million Americans.


The Coalition—and more than 150 of its members and partners in the eight-state region of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York—today sent letters to U.S. House and Senate appropriators, urging them to support a robust Great Lakes agenda.


“Millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life are counting on Congress to stay the course and not give up before the job is done,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Federal investments are producing results for the environment and economy—but serious threats remain. Stopping federal investments now will only make restoration efforts more difficult and expensive the longer we wait.”

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  • 2017 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference! The location and dates for the 13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference has been announced. We will be in Buffalo, N.Y. October 17-19, 2017. As more information becomes available in the spring, please check back with our Great Lakes Restoration Conference website.  

  • Tools for Great Lakes Advocates

      We need your help! Let Members of Congress know how important the Great Lakes are to you: for swimming, for fishing, for our drinking water, and for our way of life. Find tips and tools here for reaching out to Members of Congress and engaging in the conversation.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Erosive stream banks on the Knife River were restored by reducing the stress from water flowing into the bank, decreasing sedimentation in the Knife River. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.