Coalition releases shared priorities for the Great Lakes

In preparation of Great Lakes Day in Washington, D.C. March 7, a broad coalition representing business, maritime, labor and environmental groups, regional agencies, state legislators, cities and tribes released a set of shared priorities for restoring the Great Lakes, supporting a thriving economy and sustaining a healthy environment in the eight-state, two-province region. The coalition presented a shared agenda for the Great Lakes, which serve as the source of drinking water for more than 48 million people in the U.S. and Canada, host the world’s third largest regional economy at $6 trillion and directly generate more than 1.5 million jobs.

“Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is an enduring, bipartisan priority for the people of the Great Lakes region,” the statement reads. “Our organizations support these priorities to sustain progress and maintain the Great Lakes as an economic engine and environmental treasure.”

The shared agenda urges members of Congress and the administration to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, support agricultural conservation programs, invest in drinking and wastewater infrastructure, protect the lakes from Asian carp and other harmful aquatic invasive species, maintain federal agency capacity to effectively protect and manage the Lakes and strengthen the Great Lakes navigation system.

The 2019 Great Lakes priorities were endorsed by the Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, American Great Lakes Ports Association, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus and BlueGreen Alliance.

Andrea Lee