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October 6th 2017

Detroit Branch NAACP and Healing Our Waters–Great Lakes Coalition Tackle Potential Fixes to City’s Water Systems

DETROIT, MICH. (October 6, 2017) – The Detroit Branch NAACP and Healing Our Waters–Great Lakes Coalition held a press briefing today, Friday October 6, 2017 at 10 a.m. to discuss potential fixes to the City of Detroit’s Water System.  Representatives from the Detroit Branch NAACP and Healing Our Waters–Great Lakes Coalition addressed the country’s $660 billion water infrastructure crisis; $1.4 billion is in Wayne County.

Though the federal infrastructure budget is still in the air, Detroit Branch NAACP is spurring the discussion now with the hopes that area leaders can move faster to influence Congress and implement important municipal changes.

“The Detroit Branch NAACP will continue to work in partnership and tandem with organizations that focus on improving quality of life issues for our community,” says Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, Detroit Branch NAACP President.  “Improvements to Detroit and Wayne County’s water infrastructure will boost quality of life in several ways including creating a healthier community and it can also be a jobs provider.  Let’s be proactive and work to improve Detroit’s and other urban areas water infrastructure now before the costs continue to rise and deteriorate even further.”

National infrastructure is traditionally thought of as projects requiring metal and concrete – including roads, bridges and freight lines. Many experts and influencers across the country want to update the conversation to recognize a range of needs, including issues like urban and rural access to broadband.

“Our nation faces a water infrastructure crisis that demands our federal government step up to the plate as a partner with local communities,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Federal investments in the Great Lakes are producing results in Detroit and around the region, but clearly more needs to be done. Congress can invest in solutions to help local communities to protect our drinking water, economy, and way of life. Delay will only make these problems worse and more costly to solve.”

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October 4th 2017

Washington Update: Budget Resolutions

This week the U.S. House and Senate will work on FY18 budget resolutions.  The full House is expected to debate its resolution starting Wednesday.  The Senate Budget Committee will mark up its version this week as well. There is a potential for cuts to non-defense discretionary funding, which would reduce the pool of funds available for programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has submitted an amendment to protect the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from cuts that could ensue if non-defense discretionary spending is cut. Read the amendment language here.

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September 29th 2017

Toledo Groups, Great Lakes Advocates Call for Increased Investments in Water Infrastructure

On Destination Junction Day, attendees tour nearby neighborhood rain gardens. Photo credit: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition

TOLEDO, OHIO (September 29, 2017) – Community leaders in Toledo joined Great Lakes advocates today to urge the U.S. Congress to at least double federal investments in water infrastructure to prevent neighborhood flooding, keep beaches open, and provide safe drinking water.


Toledo community leaders and Great Lakes advocates urged the U.S. Congress to increase federal support for community infrastructure projects at an all-day forum organized by the Junction Coalition. The event celebrated some local successful projects to reduce flooding from stormwater, as well as highlighted challenges communities still face when it comes to water infrastructure.


The call for federal action comes as communities across the country grapple with a staggering backlog of work to fix, repair, and modernize their drinking water and waste water infrastructure. Nearly $180 billion is needed over the next twenty years, according to the EPA, to update the wastewater and drinking water infrastructure in the eight-state Great Lakes region of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New York. Nationally, the tab is approximately $660 billion.

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September 22nd 2017

Coalition Partners with Milwaukee Community  to Promote Water Infrastructure Investments

Milwaukee residents attend a fair at Alice’s Garden to learn about ways to capture and reuse rain water to help curb flooding, maintain the community garden, and reduce runoff into Lake Michigan. PHOTO / Todd Ambs

Upcoming events in Toledo, Detroit, and Gary, Ind., to highlight local water infrastructure challenges, solutions—and need for ongoing federal investment

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is partnering with local communities around the Great Lakes region to promote federal investments in water infrastructure to protect the health of communities and the Great Lakes themselves. On August 27, the Coalition collaborated with more than two dozen local community groups, environmental organizations, city partners, and regional agencies to promote the adoption of low- and no-cost rainwater reuse methods to Milwaukee’s urban neighborhoods to help city residents reduce localized flooding as well as stormwater pollution in Lake Michigan. More >

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September 8th 2017

Washington Update: Funding Discussions Continue in House and Senate

Debate on an eight-bill funding package continued late into the night as the U.S. House plowed through 68 amendments to the large funding bill.  The House continues debate on the remaining 156 amendments today.  The House won’t wrap up the bill this week because many members want to return to their districts due to Hurricane Irma approaching Florida, which means final passage of the large omnibus bill will roll over until next week.  Last votes this week will be on the continuing resolution, debt deal, and Hurricane Harvey relief package, which the Senate passed Thursday.

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  • Washington Update: December 7, 2017

    Congress is still working on passing a budget for fiscal year 2018. So far, many Great Lakes programs have received support, but overall budgets for key agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency are being cut and final budget numbers have not been agreed upon. Read the latest here.

  • Tools for Great Lakes Advocates

      We need your help! Let Members of Congress know how important the Great Lakes are to you: for swimming, for fishing, for our drinking water, and for our way of life. Find tips and tools here for reaching out to Members of Congress and engaging in the conversation.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Restoring the natural curves and riverbank of the Pike River in Wisconsin has reduced flooding and erosion, while increasing fish and wildlife habitat. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.

  • 2017 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    Registration for the 13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference is now open! We will be in Buffalo, N.Y. October 17-19, 2017. Please visit our Great Lakes Restoration Conference website to register and see what workshops will be held at this year's conference. We hope to see you there!