Restoring

Great Lakes Habitat

Great Lakes restoration investments are reestablishing native habitat for human health, and for fish and wildlife, but serious threats remain. Toxic pollutants in soil on former industrial sites prevent people and wildlife from thriving. Rivers and streams blocked by dams still prevent native fish from their historic habitat. We can’t cut funding now—delays will only make problems more expensive and harder to solve.

Federal Investments are Restoring Habitat

Since 2009, more than 167,000 acres of coastal, upland, island, and wetland habitat have been restored or enhanced, allowing countless species of birds, fish, and reptiles to thrive. Restoration of streams, forests, and fields have contributed to a strong outdoor tourism industry in the region. For example, thanks to federal restoration funding, the trout population in Michigan’s Coldwater River jumped from 40 trout per mile to more than 1,500 per mile over a 5-year period. And a study by the Brookings Institute showed that these investments are producing results: every $1 invested in restoration generates $2 in return.

But Serious Threats Remain

Habitat degradation from development and pollution is still a problem around the Great Lakes. Many dams or culverts block rivers and prevent fish from reaching their spawning grounds. Wetlands, which play a crucial role in keeping the Great Lakes clean and healthy, are not as prevalent as they once were. Fish, birds, and even people in the region benefit greatly from Great Lakes restoration. We need the federal government to invest in Great Lakes restoration through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other supporting programs.

Contact Your Member of Congress

Let your member of congress know they should take action to protect the Great Lakes! Find out how to contact your senators and representative here. Tell them:

  • The Great Lakes are our most important source of fresh water, providing drinking water to 30 million people. We must continue our efforts to clean and restore them.
  • Although we have made progress the lakes still face serious threats.
  • We can’t afford to stop now. These projects to clean up our lakes will only get harder and more expensive the longer we wait.

FEATURED SUCCESS STORY