Marcy Kaptur

Washington, DC  –  Tuesday, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and her colleagues on the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force introduced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act of 2024. This bipartisan legislation will reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is set to expire at the end of FY 2026, for another five years through FY 2031. The bill increases the current authorization level from $475 Million to $500 Million in FY 2026. With Kaptur, Representatives David Joyce (OH-14), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), and Bill Huizenga (MI-04) are the House co-leads of this GLRI Reauthorization legislation.

“As a co-chair of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force and a senior member of the House Committee on Appropriations, funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is among my top priorities,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force. “The GLRI provides instrumental funding to meet an enormous unmet need for our region and the millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, livelihoods, and leisure. In 2020, the GLRI contributed $3.1 Trillion to our economy, 25.8 million jobs, and $1.3 Trillion in wages. Analysis shows that every GLRI dollar spent produces $3.35 in economic activity, which demonstrates a clear return on investment. Robust funding that benefits communities and people is just common sense.”

“The Great Lakes provide more than 1.5 million jobs, supply 90 percent of our nation’s fresh surface water, and generate $62 Billion in wages every year,” said Congressman Joyce, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supports efforts that confront direct threats facing the lakes like harmful algal blooms, water pollution, invasive species, and coastal erosion. I am proud to be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reintroduce this critical legislation to protect and preserve the national treasure that is the Great Lakes ecosystem.”

“The Great Lakes are not only an important natural resource, but a way of life that supports communities and jobs across our region and country. Since it was established, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been an environmental and economic success, and is fundamental to protecting, restoring, and maintaining the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy. We must ensure the GLRI receives strong, bipartisan support to continue this meaningful work,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force.

“As Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force, I have worked to build a bipartisan coalition in Congress to make the Great Lakes a national priority,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force. “The Great Lakes serve as a vital source of economic activity, recreation, and drinking water for millions of Americans. For us in Michigan, the Great Lakes are a way of life. Studies from Grand Valley State University and the University of Michigan demonstrate how the economic health of the Great Lakes is directly tied to their ecological health. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the leading federal program designed to clean up legacy pollution, restore habitats, and combat invasive species across the basin. I will continue to lead efforts that prioritize the Great Lakes and work to protect, preserve, and strengthen these precious resources for future generations.”

Additional House co-sponsors are Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Bill Huizenga (MI-04), David Joyce (OH-14), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jack Bergman (MI-01), John Moolenaar (MI-02), Claudia Tenney (NY-24), Brian Steil (WI-01), Haley Stevens (MI-11), John James (MI-10), Max Miller (OH-07), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), and Lisa McClain (MI-09), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Joseph Morelle (NY-25), and Mike Quigley (IL-05).

Senate co-sponsors are Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Todd Young (R-IN), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Bob Casey (D-PA).

The legislation also shares endorsements and broad support among Great Lakes advocates, including: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Great Lakes Commission, Alliance for the Great Lakes, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, American Sportfishing Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, American Great Lakes Ports Association, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Great Lakes Business Network, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Clean Wisconsin, Save the Dunes, Ohio Environmental Council, and Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

The Great Lakes and its watersheds continue to be stressed by contamination and threats to water quality, and are under increasing pressure from new invasive species, climate change, erosion, and habitat destruction. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ensures that vital efforts to protect our water can continue and that we can address new and emerging threats to our lakes and waterways that directly impact public health and safety. The Initiative has focused efforts to stop the spread of invasive carp and other invasive species, restore coastline, and prevent future contamination. Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $3.37 Billion to fund 6,851 projects throughout the Great Lakes region. Every dollar spent through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative generates $3.35 in economic activity.

Full text of the legislation can be found by clicking here.