The U.S. Congress released its 2014 spending bill last night. The bill restores funding to two essential Great Lakes programs. It provides $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; the program received $285 million in 2013. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is set to receive $1.44 billion for fiscal year 2014; the program received $1.37 billion in 2013.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supports efforts to clean up toxic pollution, restore fish and wildlife habitat, fight invasive species, and reduce runoff from cities and farms. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund provides low-interest loans to communities across the nation to upgrade sewage infrastructure. The loan program distributes funding to all 50 states based on a fixed formula. The 2014 spending bill would provide about $530 million to the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
Responding to the release of the 2014 omnibus, Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said;
“This budget represents a significant victory for the millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and quality of life. This investment will help support programs that are delivering results in communities across the region.”
Read more than 100 Great Lakes restoration success stories on the Coalition’s Website at: http://live-healthy-lakes.pantheon.io/successes/restoration-success-stories/
Read the 2014 spending bill at: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140113/113-HR3547-JSOM-G-I.pdf
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding can be found on page 32.
Clean Water State Revolving Fund funding can be found on page 37.
The Great Lakes provide drinking water to more than 30 million people. More than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes, generating $62 billion in wages annually. Every $1 investment in Great Lakes restoration generates at least $2 of economic benefit.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of 125 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at www.healthylakes.org or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.