12.22.20

Senate Passes Baldwin’s Bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act

Bipartisan Bill Ensures Great Lakes Will Be Protected for Future Generations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate has passed Senator Tammy Baldwin’s bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act, which reauthorizes and expands funding for the Great Lakes. The legislation passed the House earlier this year and now heads to the President’s desk.

The bipartisan bill will reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2021, for another five years. The bill increases the current authorization level from $300 million to $375 million in Fiscal Year 2022 and increases funding by $25 million per year until it reaches $475 million in Fiscal Year 2026. Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, was joined by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), co-Chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, and Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) in introducing this bipartisan legislation. 

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has earned bipartisan support and is critical for the health of our region, our communities, and our clean water resources. It helps us clean up polluted sites, restore water quality and combat invasive species,” said Senator Baldwin. “Preserving the Great Lakes is not just an environmental goal - it is an economic necessity for Wisconsin, and making stronger, long-term investments in GLRI will better help us ensure that our Great Lakes are protected and preserved for generations to come. I’m looking forward to the President signing our bipartisan bill into law.”

Since its inception, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has tripled the successful cleanup and delisting of Areas of Concern, reduced phosphorus runoff and the threat of harmful algal blooms, controlled and stopped the advancement of invasive species, and restored wildlife habitat over thousands of miles of rivers and waterways. Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $2.5 billion to fund 4,706 projects throughout the Great Lakes region.

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Gary Peters (D-MI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Todd Young (R-IN), Vice Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, and 40 members of the House of Representatives are co-sponsors of this bipartisan legislation.