Senators Wojno, Ananich, Brinks, McMorrow, Bullock, Outman, Alexander, Geiss, Polehanki, Irwin and Zorn offered the following resolution:
Senate Resolution No. 25.
A resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to continue full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Whereas, The Great Lakes are a critical resource for our nation, supporting the economy and a way of life in Michigan and the other seven states within the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world's surface freshwater and 90 percent of the United States' surface freshwater. This globally significant freshwater resource provides drinking water for more than 30 million people and directly supports 1.5 million jobs, generating $62 billion in wages; 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. These projects have cleaned up toxic pollution, reduced runoff from cities and farms, combatted invasive species, and restored fish and wildlife habitat; and
Whereas, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has made a significant difference and 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, Far more work needs to be done. Whether toxic algal blooms shutting down Toledo's drinking water supply, invasive carp threatening billion-dollar fisheries, or contaminated sediments restricting recreational opportunities, substantial limitations and threats to the use of the Great Lakes remain. These problems require a collaborative effort to solve; and
Whereas, The President's Fiscal Year 2020 federal budget proposes to reduce funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90 percent. This proposed $270 million cut ignores the national significance of our country's largest reserve of drinkable, surface freshwater and jeopardizes the momentum from more than a decade of unprecedented regional cooperation. It is a short-sighted, short-term cost-saving measure with long-term implications. Restoration efforts will only become more expensive and more difficult if they are not addressed in the coming years. The federal government needs to remain an active partner with the Great Lakes region; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That we memorialize the Congress of the United States to continue full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.