The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s mission is to secure a sustainable Great Lakes restoration plan and the federal funding needed to implement it. The Coalition seeks to:
- stop sewage contamination that closes beaches and harms recreational opportunities;
- clean up toxic sediments that threaten the health of people and wildlife;
- prevent polluted runoff from cities and farms that harm water quality and lead to toxic algal blooms;
- restore and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat that filter pollutants, provide a home for fish and wildlife, and support the region’s outdoor recreation economy;
- prevent the introduction of invasive species, such as Asian carp, that threaten the economy and quality of life for millions of people.
As we move forward on this important work, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition wants to play our part in ensuring that federal Great Lakes restoration investments benefit all of the people and communities in the region—particularly those who have borne the brunt of racial, environmental and economic injustice. Equity means we will strive to intentionally include those who have been historically excluded—specifically people of color and people from impoverished backgrounds—and work to break down barriers to their inclusion within the Great Lakes community. We believe that we have a responsibility as a successful, powerful, respected Coalition to ensure that we invite all voices to the table and respect lived expertise. Engaging in equity work means that we strive to restore and protect the Great Lakes so that all of the region’s people can have accesses to affordable, clean, safe drinking water; to eat fish that are safe and not toxic; and to live healthy lives that are not undermined by toxic pollutants and legacy contaminants. Further, we will work to ensure that public officials keep the doors to democracy open so that the region’s many communities, especially historically ostracized voices, have the opportunity to participate in decisions that impact their communities.
Healthy lakes and healthy people go hand in hand. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition will endeavor to make our work more relevant and impactful and by doing so protect basic human rights, like those referenced above, for all people and communities in the region, so that the Great Lakes can be enjoyed and used by people now and for generations to come.