senate concurrent resolution no. 6

Senators Wojno, Santana, Cavanagh, Hertel, Lauwers, McCann, Damoose, Huizenga, Bayer, McMorrow, Webber, Chang, Shink, Geiss and Polehanki offered the following concurrent resolution:

A concurrent resolution to urge the United States Congress to allocate $425 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

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 21 percent of the world’s surface freshwater and 84 percent of the United States’ surface freshwater supply. This globally significant freshwater resource provides drinking water for more than 30 million people and directly supports 1.3 million jobs, generating $82 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 6,800 projects since 2010, including over $600 million for more than 2,100 projects in Michigan. These projects have cleaned up toxic pollution, reduced runoff from cities and farms, combatted invasive species, and restored fish and wildlife habitats; and

Whereas, The GLRI 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 an additional $3.35 in 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 contaminating water supplies along Lake Erie, 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 United States Congress allocated $368 million to the GLRI as part of the federal spending bill for Fiscal Year 2023. While a $279.8 million increase from Fiscal Year 2022, this allocation is less than the $400 million that the GLRI was authorized to receive. This proposed shortfall 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-savings 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 (the House of Representatives concurring), That we urge the United States Congress to allocate $425 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget; 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.