Stabenow, Peters Announce Single-Largest-Ever Investment to Protect our Great Lakes
Federal Funding will Accelerate Cleanup Efforts Across MichiganThursday, February 17, 2022
WASHINGTON – Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Gary Peters today announced that the $1 billion investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will accelerate the cleanup and restoration by 2030 of nine high-priority areas in Michigan whose lakes, rivers and watersheds flow into our Great Lakes. These include the Clinton River, Detroit River, Manistique River, Muskegon Lake, River Raisin, Rouge River, St. Clair River, St. Marys River, and Torch Lake areas (https://www.epa.gov/great-lakes-aocs/list-great-lakes-aocs).
This one-time $1 billion investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the single-largest-ever investment in the Great Lakes, and is in addition to the annual funding approved by Congress for the program. This investment in many of Michigan’s highest priorities for cleanup will directly impact the health of Lake Erie, Huron, Michigan, Superior and Lake St Clair, and their watersheds.
Decades of industrial pollution and development have harmed the environment in and around our Great Lakes. Beginning in 1987, the most seriously damaged areas were identified under the federal Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement as “Areas of Concern.” There were 14 of these areas designated in Michigan. Because of significant funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other federal investments, three of these areas were cleaned up over the course of the past three decades and “delisted” (Deer Lake, White Lake, Lower Menominee River areas.)
“This new infusion of federal funding is a game changer for our state. Over the next eight years we are expected to complete the cleanup of an additional nine high-priority areas in Michigan. At a time when our Great Lakes are facing increasing pressures from new contamination, invasive species and the climate crisis, completing the restoration of these areas is critically important to the health of our waters. These efforts will strengthen our tourism industry, protect our fisheries, keep our beaches open, and support outdoor recreation for generations to come,” said Senator Stabenow.
“As Michiganders, the Great Lakes are not only in our DNA but a critical resource for drinking water, economic growth and job creation,” said Senator Peters. “This funding I helped enact through the bipartisan infrastructure law is a game-changer for Michigan. With the largest ever investment in our Great Lakes, we now will greatly expand restoration efforts to preserve and strengthen the Great Lakes for future generations.”
Senator Stabenow authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010. In 2020, Senators Stabenow and Peters authored the law to reauthorize and expand the program. Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided over $2.9 billion to fund more than 6,000 projects throughout the Great Lakes region, including $762 million for 880 projects in Michigan.
Next Article Previous Article