Congressional Support of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is Critical

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition sent a letter to Capitol Hill urging Congress to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million for FY 2011. The restoration of the Lakes and the eight-state regional economy of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin depend on this funding. More than 90 organizations signed the letter.

“The support that the President and Congress provided in FY2010 for the GLRI has energized the region like at no other time, and the Great Lakes community is responding by working to implement the restoration plan for the Great lakes developed five years ago,” the letter states.

Communities around the Great Lakes region are benefiting from restoration projects – the work is creating jobs, restoring the health of the lakes, increasing property values, benefiting local businesses and improving the quality of life for millions of people. We have dozens of stories from the field that illustrate how well the federal investment is paying off.

But there’s more work to do: The demand for restoration dollars outpaces supply by more than 7-to-1.

That’s why consistent, long-term support is needed if we are going to continue to see progress advancing Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery.

Our message to Congress is simple: The restoration of the Lakes is vital to our lives. Please continue to invest in this iconic resource. Local, state and federal partners have a proven track record successfully implementing Great Lakes restoration programs. We have solutions. It is time to use them now more than ever. This fall, after the election, please maintain funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million.

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