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LATEST NEWS

July 14th 2016

House Passes Great Lakes Funding Bill

Strong funding for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, though bill contains harmful provisions that undermine Clean Water Act, other environmental protections.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved its 2017 Interior-EPA funding bill, which contains funding for several core Great Lakes programs. The spending bill also contains several provisions that roll back environmental protections.

Commenting on the bill, Todd Ambs, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

“Millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life will benefit from these investments. While the bill fully funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, it unfortunately underfunds wastewater infrastructure improvements that are essential to our public health and economy.  The bill also contains several very damaging provisions that weaken Clean Water Act and other environmental protections. We need both strong funding and effective policies to ensure that we protect our Great Lakes, drinking water, environment and economy. More >

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July 6th 2016

Extended Deadline: Public Comment on EPA’s Environmental Justice Strategy Open until July 28

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding and allocations, has extended the public comment  period for their Environmental Justice Strategy, EJ 2020. You can read the proposed strategy here. The public comment period is now open through July 28 and feedback can be submitted to the EJ Strategy email account at: ejstrategy@epa.gov.

In an EPA blog, the strategy is described as building “on Plan EJ 2014, as well as decades of significant environmental justice practice within communities and among our governmental partners and stakeholders, we have crafted a strategy that envisions an EPA that integrates environmental justice into everything we do, cultivates strong partnerships to improve on-the-ground results, and charts a path forward for achieving better environmental outcomes and reducing disparities in the nation’s most overburdened communities.”

There are three overarching goals of the plan, each of which, if done well, have the potential to improve the quality of life for folks in the Great Lakes region:

  1. Deepen environmental justice practice in EPA’s programs to improve the health and environment of overburdened communities;
  2. Work with partners to expand our positive impact in overburdened communities; and
  3. Demonstrate progress on significant national environmental justice challenges.
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June 24th 2016

Community Benefits from Kinnickinnic River Rivitalization

Communities along the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee, Wis. are benefiting from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding that has been used to remove concrete channelization and naturalize the space. We have previously written about this work on the Kinnickinnic as a success story, which you can read here. More powerfully, though, community members have documented what the clean up work means for them and their community. A vision for what the river will be in the future and how it will transform and reunite the community is perhaps the most powerful part of this Great Lakes restoration success story.

 

 

You can read more about the video and the producer in this article. Collaborators on this project included: Milwaukee Earth Partnership, Latino Earth Partnership, Urban Ecology Center, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, and Escuela Verde School.

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June 21st 2016

Public Comment on EPA’s Environmental Justice Strategy Open until July 7

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding and allocations, is taking public comment for their Environmental Justice Strategy, EJ 2020. You can read the proposed strategy here. The public comment period is open through July 7 and feedback can be submitted to the EJ Strategy email account at: ejstrategy@epa.gov.

In an EPA blog, the strategy is described as building “on Plan EJ 2014, as well as decades of significant environmental justice practice within communities and among our governmental partners and stakeholders, we have crafted a strategy that envisions an EPA that integrates environmental justice into everything we do, cultivates strong partnerships to improve on-the-ground results, and charts a path forward for achieving better environmental outcomes and reducing disparities in the nation’s most overburdened communities.”

There are three overarching goals of the plan, each of which, if done well, have the potential to improve the quality of life for folks in the Great Lakes region:

  1. Deepen environmental justice practice in EPA’s programs to improve the health and environment of overburdened communities;
  2. Work with partners to expand our positive impact in overburdened communities; and
  3. Demonstrate progress on significant national environmental justice challenges.
Comments Off on Public Comment on EPA’s Environmental Justice Strategy Open until July 7
June 17th 2016

Senate Committee Passes Great Lakes Funding Bill

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today approved its 2017 Interior-EPA funding bill, which contains funding levels for several core Great Lakes programs. The spending bill also contains several provisions that roll back environmental protections. The action by the Senate comes a day after the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed its spending bill.

 

Commenting on the bill, Todd Ambs, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

 

“Millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life will benefit from these investments. Unfortunately the bill also contains several very counterproductive provisions that weaken Clean Water Act protections. We need both strong funding and effective policies to ensure that we protect our Great Lakes, drinking water, environment and economy. While we’re making progress, the Great Lakes and our communities still face serious threats. We urge the Senate to support successful Great Lakes programs that are producing results and reject attempts to weaken protections that undermine restoration efforts.”

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  • 2016 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    Registration for the 2016 Great Lakes Restoration Conference is now open! Reserve your spot today using the link on our Great Lakes Restoration Conference website. Our agenda is out and available for view online as well. More information will be filled in as it becomes available. This year we'll be in Sandusky, Ohio September, 20-22. We hope to see you

  • Great Lakes Restoration and Protection Presidential Platform

    We have joined with the Council of Great Lakes Industries, the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, the Great Lakes Commission, and the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition to urge the Presidential candidates to support our Great Lakes by endorsing the platform. Read more about the platform here.

  • 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.

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