Healthy Lakes Healthy Lives

Subscribe Now

Support the restoration of the Great lakes ecosystem. Submit your email address to receive newsletters, articles & action alerts.


November 29th 2016

Great Lakes Washington Update

After the Thanksgiving break, Congress is returning to Washington, D.C. with a list of things to accomplish, including voting on a continuing resolution to fund the government. And the incoming administration under President-elect Donald Trump is beginning to take shape. Finally, the House and Senate have set their schedules for 2017.

Funding the Federal Government

First things first, Congress has to deal with funding the federal government before current funding authority runs out on December 9, 2016.  Both the House and Senate are working through the details, including whether to enact another continuing resolution that would push funding into the new year (through March 31, 2017) rather than pass permanent appropriations now.  A continuing resolution to fund the government into the new year likely has support to pass, according to Sen. Durbin.  However, the length of the new funding is uncertain.  The House of Representatives originally proposed passing a bill through March.  The discussions now include questions of extending that deadline through May, which is what Senate leaders support. What other policies will be included in a new Continuing Resolution is also still to be determined, although many of the existing riders may wait until a final funding package is drafted after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in.

Water Resources and Development Act

The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) also still must be addressed as House and Senate leaders make final decisions on a final WRDA package.  Details on what’s in and what’s out remain elusive, although there are reports that a deal is close at hand, with indications of support from Senate Environment Chairman James Inhofe and Senator Debbie Stabenow. We remain optimistic that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative authorization will find its way into the final agreement.  It’s unclear whether other Great Lakes provisions, such as the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife provision in the Senate bill and the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Protection Act in the House bill, will make it across the finish line.

More >

No comment
November 18th 2016

Weekly News Roundup:

In case you missed the past week in Great Lakes conservation news:

Great Lakes fish consumption advisories could be inadequate and exposing consumers to higher levels of toxic chemicals than anticipated, according to Great Lakes Echo. The major contaminants of concern are PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and mercury. Both have serious health consequences when consumed in unsafe amounts.

The Toledo Blade reports that Toledo is making good progress towards overhauling and expanding the city’s sewage network. The city is on pace to complete the project by 2020.

The EPA revised its ruling on Flint’s drinking water treatment, writes MLive. The city’s treatment plant will be required to test-run raw Lake Huron water for three months before it can deliver water to residents and businesses.


Comments Off on Weekly News Roundup:
November 16th 2016

Funding Opportunity: Up To $26 Million Available From EPA for GLRI Projects

A new opportunity to apply for grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is now available. Up to $26 million will be available for grants to state, tribal, interstate and local governmental agencies, institutions of higher learning and other nonprofit organizations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking for projects that address invasive species and nutrients in several specific categories, listed below. Applications are due January 13, 2017. Remember that there are often pieces of federal applications that require advance preparation; start the application process early. It is likely that this will be the only Request for Applications from the Environmental Protection Agency under these categories in this fiscal year.

A webinar explaining the grant application process will be held at 2 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. The request for applications and information about applying for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants is available at

EPA anticipates funding projects in the following categories:

More >

Comments Off on Funding Opportunity: Up To $26 Million Available From EPA for GLRI Projects
November 3rd 2016

Great Lakes Update from Washington, D.C.

Two pieces of news from Washington, D.C. which may be of interest to folks in the Great Lakes region, both of which pertain to the reconciliation process that is starting for the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA).

Bipartisan group of House Great Lakes members send WRDA letter to leaders

Over 30 members of Congress sent a letter (read it here) to House and Senate leaders urging them to support important Great Lakes Water Resources and Development Act provisions, including the House-passed Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration changes and the Senate-passed Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act re-authorization, community waterfront bill, and other important water infrastructure provisions – including emergency funding for Flint.

More >

Comments Off on Great Lakes Update from Washington, D.C.
October 27th 2016

Action Alert: Urge U.S. House Members to support Water Resources and Development Act

A letter is being circulated by the Great Lakes Task Force in the U.S. House in support of the Water Resources and Development Act and proposals that would benefit the Great Lakes. Two different versions of the Water Resources and Development Act have passed–one in the U.S. House and one in the Senate–and they now must be reconciled into one document. This sign on letter offers suggestions for what content from the U.S. House version should be included as well as what content from the U.S. Senate version should remain. Included in the recommendations is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act, which would authorize the GLRI for 5 years at $300 million annually. The other items mentioned in the letter are supportive of Great Lakes health and restoration, including Sewer Overflow Control Grants and Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration. Read the letter here.

Currently, Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Sander Levin (D-Mich), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), David Trott (R-Mich.), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) have signed on to the letter.

have signed on. Please take a moment to encourage your Representatives to sign onto this letter.  The deadline has been extended again to Tuesday, November 1, close of business, so please send a note right away either via twitter (a list of handles can be found here) or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Sam Breene at with questions or to sign on.

Comments Off on Action Alert: Urge U.S. House Members to support Water Resources and Development Act
  • 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.  

  • 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.