Ann Arbor, Mich. – A binational coalition of regional agencies, legislators, local communities, tribes, and business and environmental groups today released their shared priorities for restoring the Great Lakes and supporting the region’s economy. 2021 marks the 15th year the coalition has issued shared priorities for the lakes in advance of Great Lakes Day. Great Lakes Day, which will take place virtually next week, is an annual event that brings together regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies.
“Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is an enduring, bipartisan priority for the nation and for Great Lakes basin communities,” the statement reads. “Our organizations support these priorities to accelerate progress, foster equity, build resilience, and ensure the Great Lakes are an environmental treasure, community asset, economic engine, and innovation hub.”
The agenda urges Congress and the Biden administration to appropriate no less than $375 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in FY 2022. In addition, the statement calls for investments in drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure; prioritization of projects and programs in underserved communities to advance equitable access to affordable, clean, safe drinking water; ensuring the Great Lakes region is resilient to the impacts of a changing climate; strengthening Great Lakes ports and the maritime transportation system; supporting federal programs to address harmful algal blooms; and protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species.
The 2021 Great Lakes priorities are endorsed by the Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, American Great Lakes Ports Association, and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus.