house resolution no.157

Reps. Tate, Garza, Coleman, Haadsma, Witwer, Whitsett, Sowerby, Shannon, Rabhi, Cynthia Johnson, Gay-Dagnogo, Ellison, Camilleri, Pohutsky, Warren, Sabo, Brixie, Kuppa, Hoadley, Love, Hope, Peterson, Cherry, Greig, Koleszar, VanSingel, Lasinski, Pagan, Brann, Clemente, Wittenberg, Manoogian, Chirkun and Kennedy offered the following resolution:

A resolution to memorialize the President and Congress of the United States to increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to $475 million per year.

Whereas, The Great Lakes are a critical resource for our nation and central to the economy, heritage, and quality of life of Michigan and the other seven states within the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes hold over 84 percent of the United States' surface freshwater and drive a thriving regional economy, directly supporting 1.5 million U.S. jobs and generating $62 billion in wages. More than 30 million U.S. residents depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water; and

Whereas, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) has provided crucial funding to support long overdue work to protect and restore the Great Lakes. In partnership with the states, local governments, and other organizations, the federal government has invested more than $3 billion and supported over 4,700 projects over the last decade, including around $600 million for more than 1,100 projects in Michigan; and

Whereas, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative represents a sound investment in both the environment and the economies of the Great Lakes region. A 2018 study calculated that for every federal dollar invested in Great Lakes restoration there is $3.35 in additional economic activity, with older industrial cities like Detroit seeing an even higher return on investment; and

Whereas, Real progress has been made in cleaning up and restoring the Great Lakes thanks to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. One-third of the region's toxic hot spots have been cleaned up, sparking redevelopment and business opportunities on waterfronts. Area farms and conservation organizations have increased conservation practices, which have reduced harmful nutrient runoff, and habitat and wildlife connectivity continue to improve, with nearly 5,000 miles of rivers cleared of dams and other barriers; and

Whereas, Far more work needs to be done to ensure every person has a clean community in which to live, safe beaches to enjoy, and healthy fish to eat. Substantial limitations and threats to the use of the Great Lakes remain whether toxic algal blooms shutting down Toledo's drinking water supply, invasive carp threatening billion-dollar fisheries, or contaminated sediments restricting recreational opportunities; and

Whereas, The time to act is now. The ecological, economic, and health risks are too high. The problems will only get worse and the solutions more expensive and challenging in the future; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we memorialize the President and Congress of the United States to increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to $475 million per year to boost the region's work of cleaning up toxic contamination, reducing runoff pollution, stopping invasive species, and protecting and restoring wetlands and other habitats; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.