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GCP advocacy efforts impact funding, protection for Great Lakes

Maintaining the quality of the Great Lakes and maximizing their economic impact continue to be top priorities for the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Recently, the organization has engaged in key advocacy and community initiatives to advance efforts to protect this valuable resource.

Federal funding to protect Great Lakes secured through September

Congress recently passed its omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. Funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was maintained at current levels in the bill. The GCP was actively engaged in advocacy efforts to urge federal leaders to protect this critical program.

In a press release, the GCP along with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and the Cleveland Water Alliance stated:

“We stand in strong support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Our lake—Lake Erie—is a treasured asset and the most vulnerable of the five Great Lakes.

“It accounts for $10.7 billion in economic impact and roughly 30 percent of all tourism dollars that come to our state. This economic impact trickles into nearly every aspect of our community.”

GCP testimony urges stronger state policies to protect Lake Erie

At the state level, the GCP continues advocacy efforts to support Senate Bill 2, legislation championed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to strengthen policies and regulations that will protect the quality of Lake Erie and other water channels throughout the state.

The bill has passed the Senate and is now being heard in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The GCP submitted written testimony that can be read in full here.

GCP supports tech-driven competition to address Lake Erie’s challenges

The GCP also supported Erie Hack hosted by the Cleveland Water Alliance. Erie Hack is a tech-driven water innovation competition and accelerator program that brings together a host of tech experts and water professionals to generate creative solutions to Lake Erie’s challenges.

Click here for a list of winners and more information on the event.