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March 9th 2018

Action Alert: Increasing Funding for Water Infrastructure

Clean drinking water benefits all of us. Urge your Member of Congress to support State Revolving Funds by signing on to this letter. Photo from iStock Photo.

There is another letter circulating in the house for congressional sign ons – this letter supports an increase in funding for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds to fund investments in clean and safe water infrastructure. The letter is to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and specifically asks to double the amount for the two state revolving funds from the fiscal year 2017 amounts to a total of $2.8 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $1.8 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund in fiscal year 2019, which is in line with the Coalition ask for this year; we are hoping to push the Great Lakes Members to join this letter. The turnaround on this letter is very short – the deadline is this Monday, March 12, so please take some time this week to encourage your Representatives to sign on to this important letter.


You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) originated the dear colleague letter, and the following members have already signed on: Reps. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Daniel W. Lipinski (D-Ill.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands), Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), Peter Welch (D-Vt.),  Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.),  Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), and Al Green (D-Texas)


Offices should contact Jennifer Wood in Congressman Katko’s office at or Clayton Cox in Congresswoman Slaughter’s office at to sign on or with any questions. The dear colleague letter is attached.


The deadline to sign on is Monday, March 12 at the close of business.

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March 8th 2018

Action Alert: Urge House Members to Support Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 Million

Rep. David Joyce on a tour of Ashtabula River cleanup thanks to Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding. Photo courtesy of the Ohio Environmental Council.

U.S. Reps. David Joyce (R-Ohio) and Sander Levin (D-Mich.) are currently circulating a Dear Colleague letter in support of a letter to Chairman Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) urging them to continue to provide $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. We encourage Coalition members and partners to call  or tweet your Representatives and urge them to sign on to this letter! The letter closes March 13, at noon.

You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

The following Representatives have already signed on to add their support to Rep. Levin and Rep. Joyce’s letter: Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Dave Trott (R-Mich.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Michael Doyle (D-Pa.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne (D-NJ), A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)

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March 6th 2018

A Big Week for the Great Lakes: Water Infrastructure and Equity Report Released, Great Lakes Day

On the Detroit waterfront, people take advantage of the fountain to play. Keeping our drinking water safe and affordable also benefits cities economically, drawing people to town. Photo: Donna Kert

U.S. Water Alliance to Release Report: Great Lakes Infrastructure, Equity and Water Affordability

On Tuesday, March 6, the U.S. Water Alliance is releasing a new report that examines inequity issues around the infrastructure needs in the Great Lakes region. The region faces a staggering $179 billion need to fix, repair and modernize the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The new report focuses on the deteriorating state of infrastructure in Great Lakes communities, the increasing lack of affordability of water rates for low-income communities, and opportunities to make water access and service more equitable for all Great Lakes residents.

The U.S. Water Alliance will host a briefing on Tuesday, March 6, 11 a.m. Eastern

1-888-392-4560, participant code 9902003

RSVP or questions:

Read more about the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition’s Water Infrastructure concerns and priorities ahead of today’s briefing here.

Great Lakes Advocates to Visit D.C. to Urge Congress to Keep Restoration Efforts on Track

On Wednesday, March 7-8, more than 100 Great Lakes advocates will be in Washington, D.C., as part of Great Lakes Days, the annual event hosted by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and the Great Lakes Commission. In light of recent proposed budget cuts by the Trump Administration, advocates will be asking federal public officials to support a robust federal agenda, including:

  1. Supporting $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
  2. Defending core capacity and funding at federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency
  3. Doubling current funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
  4. Supporting Farm Bill conservation programs
  5. Supporting policies that protect the Great Lakes from invasive species

Read more about our policy priorities here.

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March 2nd 2018

Coalition of states, cities, tribes, business, industry and conservation organizations release joint priorities for the Great Lakes

Washington, D.C. (March 5, 2018)Ahead of Great Lakes Day this week in Washington D.C., a coalition representing business, industry and environmental groups and states, cities and tribes released joint priorities for sustaining Great Lakes restoration and economic revitalization.

which serve as the source of drinking water for more than 48 million people in the U.S. and Canada and directly generate more than 1.5 million jobs. The agenda urges members of Congress and the administration to fully fund the critical Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, preserve and strengthen agricultural conservation programs, invest in aging water infrastructure, maintain and upgrade ports, locks and other navigation infrastructure, and protect the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species.

“These joint priorities show how essential the Great Lakes are to both our region’s unique ecosystem and $5 trillion economy,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the Great Lakes Commission and commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “On behalf of our member states and provinces, I am proud to stand with this diverse coalition and present joint priorities for restoring and protecting the lakes.”

“We’re asking Congress to not let up now: Federal Great Lakes restoration investments have been producing results for our environment and economy—but serious threats remain,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the 150-member Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Until drinking water restrictions, fish consumption advisories, beach closures, and toxic hotspots are a thing of the past, our work is not done. We’re counting on Congress to maintain support for a robust Great Lakes platform that includes continued restoration work and a bipartisan water infrastructure package that provides financial relief to local communities and ensures that every person has access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.”

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February 15th 2018

Coalition Urges Congress to Reject Trump Budget, Infrastructure Plan

Two kids play along the Lake Michigan shore at the end of a summer’s day. Cuts to key Great Lakes program threaten an increase in beach closures, drinking water restrictions, and fish consumption advisories. Photo credit: Flickr/rkramer62.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (February 15, 2018)—The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today urged the U.S. Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s budget and infrastructure plan as insufficient to restore and protect the Great Lakes and to meet the needs of the 30 million people who depend on the lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life.


“We’re counting on Congress to keep federal Great Lakes restoration efforts on track and to put forward a robustly funded, bipartisan infrastructure package that provides financial relief to local communities and ensures that every person has access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Cutting funding now will only delay projects, making them more complicated and more expensive to complete.”


The Trump Administration’s proposed budget contains steep cuts to core Great Lakes programs. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is asking congress to restore Great Lakes funding and support a federal legislative agenda that includes:

  • funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the marquee program to restore the lakes;
  • funding to fix the region’s old, crumbling drinking water and wastewater infrastructure;
  • support of policies and funding that block Asian carp and other invasive species into U.S. waters;
  • funding for farm conservation programs in the Farm Bill;
  • defense of Clean Water Act and other environmental protections; and,
  • funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies that are instrumental in carrying out restoration work.

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  • Impact of President Trump’s Budget

    Cuts to key Great Lakes programs as proposed by President Trump will undermine the progress we've been making to restore the lakes. We will look to our congressional champions to restore funding. Learn more about what's at stake for the Great Lakes under the proposed budget. Click here.  

  • Great Lakes Day 2018

      We're excited to announce Great Lakes Day 2018! This year we will be in Washington, D.C. March 7 and 8 asking Congress to prioritize Great Lakes restoration funding to protect our drinking water; fish and wildlife habitat; and our way of life. Learn more about how you can get involved by visiting

  • Washington Update: February 12, 2018

    Congress is still working on passing a budget for fiscal year 2018. But the budget process for fiscal year 2019 has now begun with the release of President Trump's proposed budget. Read the latest here.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Restoring the natural curves and riverbank of the Pike River in Wisconsin has reduced flooding and erosion, while increasing fish and wildlife habitat. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.