A new report from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition features more than 30 examples of successful Great Lakes restoration projects. The report shows that government agencies and conservation groups across the region, with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, are making significant strides in efforts to restore the health of all five Great Lakes. Read the report here.
Since 2009, Congress and President Obama have approved $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That money has funded more than 700 projects aimed at cleaning up toxic hotspots, reducing polluted runoff, restoring fish and wildlife habitat and fighting invasive species.
The coalition report features GLRI-funded projects that: Restored sturgeon populations in Lake Huron and the Detroit River; removed tons of toxic sediments from rivers in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin; bolstered the Atlantic salmon fishery in Lake Ontario; established the first Native American national park, on the shores of Lake Superior; and advanced efforts to control invasive sea lamprey, which feast on native fish species.
Despite progress in restoring the lakes, much work remains. Fully restoring the ecological health of all five of the Great Lakes would cost at least $20 billion, according to the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.
Toxic algae blooms, sewer overflows, invasive species and the loss of fish and wildlife habitat continue to plague parts of the Great Lakes. As those problems are corrected, the HOW Coalition will continue to document restoration success stories. Go here to see a running list of the projects the Coalition has written about to date.