Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Renew And Expand Funding For The Great Lakes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), today introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand funding for the Great Lakes.  The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 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.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a success. I’ve been proud to help secure millions in annual funding for the program and it’s vital that we continue investing in GLRI for years to come,” Durbin said. “GLRI keeps Lake Michigan clean and viable, which is essential to the overall economic benefit it provides the state.” 

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative enjoys strong bipartisan support because of its proven ability to protect the overall health of our Great Lakes by defending against invasive species, harmful algal blooms and toxic pollution,” Duckworth said. “This important legislation ensures we continue to invest in this initiative that supports thousands of jobs and access to clean drinking water for millions. I look forward to working with Senator Durbin and my colleagues on both sides of aisle to pass it out of the Senate.”  

Since its inception, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has tripled the successful cleanup and delisting of Areas of Concern throughout the country, 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. 

U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Todd Young (R-IN), and 38 members of the House of Representatives, are co-sponsors of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019