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December 16th 2016

Coalition: Trump Administration Has Opportunity to Stand up for Great Lakes, Communities

President-elect, Donald Trump, 2016. Photo credit: By Michael Vadon – wikimedia commons.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (December 16, 2016) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today urged the incoming Trump Administration to follow through on its commitment to support federal restoration efforts of the Great Lakes, which supply drinking water to more than 30 million people in the eight-state region of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana.


The Coalition delivered a plan for 2017 Great Lakes restoration to the Trump Administration that builds on the solid foundation that has been laid over the last 10 years by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress. Read the plan here.


“The Trump Administration has a great opportunity to build on the bipartisan work of the last decade on behalf of the more than 30 million people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are producing results, but we have more work to do.

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December 12th 2016

Coalition Applauds Great Lakes Investments in Bill

Congress authorizes $1.5 billion in Great Lakes restoration over five years, funding for Flint, Mich., to replace lead pipes to restore clean drinking water.

Ann Arbor, Mich. (December 10, 2016) – In a major victory for the people, businesses, and communities which rely on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs and way of life, the U.S. Congress early Saturday morning passed a bill that authorizes $1.5 billion for Great Lakes restoration investments, as well as funding for Flint, Mich., to help the city replace lead-laced drinking water infrastructure that has prevented the city of 100,000 from having safe drinking water for almost three years. Both items have been top priorities for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.


“Make no mistake: This is a huge victory for the people, businesses and communities in the region,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We can’t thank the Great Lakes congressional delegation enough for their leadership. Authorizing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for five years will mean that, over the long term, restoration projects can be proposed and accomplished. We’ve seen great successes from federal Great Lakes investments so far, but there is more work to do. This bill will help maintain Great Lakes restoration as a national priority.”

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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.

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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.


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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:

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  • 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.  

  • 2017 Great Lakes Day

    Looking for information about the 2017 Great Lakes Day? Our annual education and outreach day will be held in Washington, D.C. March 15-16. Visit the Great Lakes Day website here for more information.

  • 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.