Great Lakes Chambers Go to Bat for Great Lakes Restoration

Last week, a coalition of Great Lakes Chambers of Commerce met with Congress members from across the Great Lakes region and asked each and every one to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The group of 30 metro Chambers of Commerce from 12 states in the Great Lakes Region formed in 2008. They made their third trip to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers on shared issues such as Great Lakes restoration.

They asked lawmakers to restore the $475 million GLRI to the FY2011 budget (the President’s budget lowered the amount recommended to $300 million), as well as create a national standard for ballast water discharges and other policies to fight invasive species. The group did not lobby lawmakers on the short-term solution to dealing with Asian carp that would require shutting down the locks in Chicago’s Sanitary and Shipping Canal.

By approaching Congress together and with a five point strategic agenda (the Blueprint for Prosperity) intended to reawaken the Great Lakes economic super region the group has a more powerful effect on Washington. They divide into teams made up people representing chambers from several states and then approach Members of Congress with a unified voice. The Chambers believe that restoring the lakes will have a strong economic impact on the region. We are grateful to have them on our side!

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One Response to Great Lakes Chambers Go to Bat for Great Lakes Restoration

  1. Don Mitchel says:

    It should be recorded in history as a missed oppertunity to address the problem of ballast water discharges in our country with a national plan, during this slow down in shipping activity, as this administration only has shown an interest in addressing the issue with a military plan to mirror the international Maritime Organization, who has a stellar history for non compliance allowing for the spreading of human disease and invasive s. A report for Congress details the costs, for mainly foreign ships to retrofit with the technology,and states the cost of imports would rise. What we need is an American plan to protect our waters and create jobs, not an international plan to negotiate hidden carbon emmissions and currency manipulation with a communist country, while following the lead of an international organization where the same communist country has a major voice in its policy, as this administration is doing, to try and create jobs.