01.08.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Bipartisan Group in Pushing for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in Canada

Senator Baldwin and other federal lawmakers are encouraging the Government of Canada to develop a plan to protect and restore the region’s shared water resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of members of Congress in pushing for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in Canada.

In the United States, the GLRI has provided more than $2 billion for Great Lakes protection and restoration and has been instrumental in restoring freshwater ecosystems, spurring economic opportunity, and redeveloping waterfront communities. The impact of the GLRI could be amplified and leveraged by a Canadian strategy for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments. In a letter to Minister of Environment and Climate Change, led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Baldwin and other federal lawmakers encouraged the Government of Canada to develop a plan to protect and restore the region’s shared water resources.

“We write to express our interest in a proposal that would establish a process to create a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in Canada. We understand that mayors, industry, non-governmental organizations, fishery advocates, tribal governments, and the Federal and provincial governments have been engaging in a collaborative process to develop such a plan for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments. We encourage you to fully consider this proposed process,” the federal lawmakers wrote.

The federal lawmakers continued, “In undertaking a collaborative process to develop such plan, our respective governments would be able to coordinate Great Lakes and St. Lawrence investment more strategically and, in turn, strengthen binational ties…By working together to protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, we can continue to provide our region with drinking water for over 48 million people, 1.5 million jobs, and a $5.8 trillion shared cross-border economy.”

In addition to Senators Baldwin and Klobuchar, the letter was signed by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Representatives Rick Nolan (D-MN), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), David Joyce (R-OH), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Fred Upton (R-MI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Mike Bishop (R-MI), Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Mike Quigley (D-IL). 

As a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Baldwin is a leading advocate for the protection of the Great Lakes. She has worked to bolster pollution clean-up efforts in the Great Lakes and establish new water conservation and environmental protection standards in the Great Lakes area.

The full text of the federal lawmakers’ letter is below.

 

Dear Minister McKenna:

We write to express our interest in a proposal that would establish a process to create a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in Canada.

We understand that mayors, industry, non-governmental organizations, fishery advocates, tribal governments, and the Federal and provincial governments have been engaging in a collaborative process to develop such a plan for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments. We encourage you to fully consider this proposed process.

In the United States, we have witnessed the positive ecological, environmental, and economic benefits of coordinated , strategic federal Great Lakes investment. The GLRI has provided more than $2 billion for Great Lakes protection and restoration and has been instrumental in restoring freshwater ecosystems , spurring economic opportunity, and redeveloping waterfront communities. The impact of the GLRI could be amplified and leveraged by a Canadian strategy for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments. In unde11aking a collaborative process to develop such plan, our respective governments would be able to coordinate Great Lakes and St. Lawrence investment more strategically and, in tum, strengthen binational ties.

The Great Lakes region has made incredible strides since the GLRI's inception, but we still have significant work to do. By working together to protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, we can continue to provide our region with drinking water for over 48 million people, 1.5 million jobs, and a $5.8 trillion shared cross-border economy.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to continue working with the Government of Canada to protect and restore our region's shared water resources.