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Senators Peters and Stabenow Lead Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Federal Funding and Protections for the Great Lakes

Bipartisan Bill Would Reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Increase Funding Levels

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) introduced bipartisan legislation to extend federal funding and protections for the Great Lakes. The senators’ Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2024 would reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) through 2031 and increase the program’s annual funding levels from $475 million in 2026 to $500 million from 2027 through 2031.

The GLRI is the most significant investment ever made to restore and protect our Great Lakes. The GLRI combines federal and nonfederal efforts to stop the spread of carp and other invasive species, restore coastline and habitats connecting our streams and rivers, clean up environmentally damaged Areas of Concern, and prevent future contamination. While providing vital support for these efforts, the GLRI also helps ensure we can address new and emerging threats to the Great Lakes.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a proven success, from combatting harmful invasive species to restoring vital waterways and habitats,” said Senator Peters. “We must ensure that it has the resources needed to continue strengthening the Great Lakes for future generations. As a Michigander, I know how critical the Great Lakes are to our state’s economy and way of life, so I’m proud to again help lead the charge to protect this important program.”

“The creation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is one of the most important actions of my legislative career.  Since I authored the program in 2010, it has been a proven success story,” said Senator Stabenow. “This bill will ensure the stability and future of the program as we address new emerging threats to our Great Lakes and waters.”

"The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the most successful effort to protect and clean up our Great Lakes in U.S. history," said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “As new challenges arise, like toxic PFAS contamination, invasive species, rapidly warming water temperatures and the impacts of climate change, we must update the GLRI to address these emerging threats head-on. We are excited to work with this bipartisan group of legislators to ensure we pass a robust Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to safeguard our Great Lakes now and for generations to come.”

Peters has championed support for the GLRI. Peters helped enact the single-largest-ever investment in the GLRI through the bipartisan infrastructure law to accelerate the restoration of nine high-priority areas in Michigan whose lakes, rivers and watersheds flow into the Great Lakes. In 2020, Peters authored the law to reauthorize and expand the GLRI. In 2019, Peters secured a bipartisan provision that was signed into law to provide the first increase in GLRI support in a decade.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Peters advocated for continued support for the GLRI during a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee last year. He then helped advance the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which included an increase in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.