Great Lakes and the Environment
As a lifelong Michigander, there is no more important natural treasure in our state than the Great Lakes, and we must continue our bipartisan work to protect them. I am proud to serve as a Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force which is tasked with this important mission. For thousands of years and across generations of Americans, no other freshwater system in the world has inspired greater economic prosperity, quality of life, or binational unity than the waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.
These Great Lakes matter to so many. It is our responsibility to ensure these massive, treasured resource are protected for all time from pollution emerging contaminants, climate change, invasive species, harmful algae blooms, and threats wildlife and their habitats. Since 2010, the federal government and states all across the region have been working to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the Lakes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Republicans and Democrats alike support GLRI and it is a critical program that deserves robust funding each year. I’m proud to report that this year we successfully obtained the first increase in GLRI funding in several years, bringing the total funding level up to $320 million.
We must also ensure that the Great Lakes remain free of nuclear waste. The Canadian government continues to push a flawed proposal to place a national repository for nuclear waste storage near the Great Lakes, which is completely unacceptable. Our bipartisan efforts to stop this effort continue and this mission is of critical importance – the future of our Great Lakes is at stake.