Coalition Submits Comments to EPA on How to Improve Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a shot in the arm for restoration efforts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Congress has invested $775 million through the initiative in the last two budget cycles to clean up toxic pollution, restore habitat, reduce polluted run-off, and combat invasive species. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition fully supports the program—though would like to see some modifications to make a good program even better.

To that end, the coalition today sent a letter to EPA’s Cameron Davis, senior advisor to the administrator, and Susan Hedman, regional administrator for EPA Region 5. The letter offers recommendations on how to improve the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Among them:

  • Budget $475 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the 2013 budget;
  • Invest in research and monitoring to help prioritize projects in most-needed areas; and,
  • Target funds based on a watershed management approach to achieve broader ecosystem health.

You can read the full letter here.

Bottom line: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the most effective federal program to restore the Great Lakes and protect the drinking water, public health and way of life for millions of people. Great Lakes activities are producing results in communities across the region—though there is more work to do. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a strong program that, with a few tweaks, can be even stronger.

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One Response to Coalition Submits Comments to EPA on How to Improve Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

  1. Rhiannon Starks says:

    If there is so much “funding” available for Great Lakes restoration why is there budget cuts for amazing grants like the GLISTEN grant? I am a student Liaison for this grant which has led to some amazing opportunities for students and faculty alike. GLISTEN aims to link students, faculty, and community partners through the STEM based curriculum to promote the sustainability of Great Lakes through service leearning and civic engagment. Sadly our funding was cut recently…our future projects that include beach clean-ups, research projects, restoration projects, and Great Lakes education will come to a tragic hault! This is heart breaking because the GLISTEN program is an essential link to the community and future generations to sustain our vital Great Lakes ecosystem. All 63 undergraduate and graduate students surrounding the Great Lakes have poured their heart and soul into projects and events that will unfortunatly cease to exist do to lack of funding. We are the most imperitive asset to the future and its ashame to let such talent and hard work wither away do to lack of funding. I plan to strive and continue to educate the public and future generations to continue to sustain the health of our Great Lakes, however it would make the process a million times easier with support and funding from government, legislative, and congressional individuals!