​​​​​​​​​Protect Funding For The Great Lakes

Click here to ask your representatives in Congress to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. ​​

We need your help to protect funding for the Great Lakes.

In its draft budget for fiscal year 2018, the Trump administration has proposed unprecedented funding cuts to environmental and natural resource programs. Among them is a proposal to entirely cut the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a conservation program that has historically had robust bipartisan support.

Since its inception in 2010, GLRI has funded hundreds of projects to combat invasive species like Asian carp, clean up toxic chemicals and protect and restore wildlife habitat across the region.

GLRI has also been good for the economy; according to a Brookings Institution report, every restoration dollar invested has created approximately two dollars in economic return.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been an invaluable resource to The Nature Conservancy and other conservation organizations across the Great Lakes.  Here are just a few examples of the projects it has made possible:

  • We protected 228 acres and restored and enhanced 36 acres of Great Lakes coastal wetlands and wildlife habitat in Door County, including essential stop-over habitat for migrating and game birds along the forested corridor of western Lake Michigan.

  • We utilized GLRI funding to protect and restore nearly 9,000 acres of coastal wetlands in the Western Lake Erie Basin of Ohio. Tactics include invasive species management, habitat restoration, hydrologic connectivity restoration, wetland creation through the conversion of agricultural fields, and more.

  • We are working with partners to control invasive plants on the highest-value natural areas remaining in the Millennium Reserve in the Illinois Calumet region. The project will restore 287.5 acres of wetlands, prairies and savannas that support declining populations of breeding marsh birds and 25 other rare species. Local communities will also benefit by having the opportunity to participate in ongoing experiential learning and community outreach activities.
     
  • We worked with partners to build a treatment wetland on a farm field in the Lower Fox River watershed in Wisconsin designed to capture runoff, including tile drainage water, and improve water quality before it enters the nearby stream. Together with the U.S. Geological Survey, we are monitoring the system to understand the wetland's contribution in reducing sediment and phosphorus and how to improve the design for future treatment wetlands.

But more work needs to be done to protect the drinking water source for nearly 40 million people, critical habitat for birds and other wildlife and the places we all love to fish, canoe and enjoy the outdoors.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Please contact your U.S. Congressional representatives today and thank them for their past support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  Then ask them to maintain the $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the federal budget for fiscal year 2018.  

You can call or write, whichever works best for you.  Please share examples of why our Great Lakes matter to you and make a difference in your life.