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Dingell, Great Lakes Task Force, Urge President Biden to Emphasize Importance of Canadian Investment in Great Lakes

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06), co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, sent a bipartisan letter with several colleagues to President Biden this week, urging the president to highlight the importance of Canadian investment in our shared Great Lakes resources during his upcoming visit to the country later this month.

“The Great Lakes contain one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water, providing drinking water for more than 30 million Americans and Canadians, supporting a $6 trillion regional economy, and providing habitat for a host of fish and wildlife,” the lawmakers wrote. “Through partnerships between the United States and Canada, sustained investments are critical to clean up toxic Areas of Concern, address the threat of invasive species, restore habitats, reduce harmful algal blooms, and mitigate other threats to the Great Lakes.

“The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries obligates both countries to provide funding for the Great Lakes,” the lawmakers continued. “The United States has consistently provided substantial investments into the Great Lakes’ health and water quality, administered principally through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The GLRI has received more than $400 million, on average, over the last five years to carry out this important work.”

“We appreciate your support of the Great Lakes and encourage you to emphasize the importance of our binational institutions and investments for the Great Lakes from the Canadian government,” the lawmakers concluded. “This will be essential to supporting the health of this treasured natural resource, which is critical to both our nations.”

In recent years, the GLRI has been funded by the United States with over $300 million annually but the Government of Canada has not committed the same level of funding. Dingell has championed robust funding request each fiscal year for The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and helped secure $1 billion in funding for the GLRI through Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Earlier this year, she and the co-chairs of the Great Lakes Task Force requested $425 million for the GLRI in the president’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, as currently authorized under law. 

The letter is signed by Reps. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), David Joyce (R-OH), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and John Moolenaar (R-MI).

View the full text of the letter here
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