The Federal Infrastructure Bill includes a historic $1 billion federal investment being made in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the funding will supercharge essential conservation efforts by improving water quality, reducing pollutants, restoring and protecting wildlife habitats, mitigating climate change impacts, and helping preserve waterways critical to New York State’s environment, public health and economy.
This is the largest amount of funding ever received by the G-L-R-I. Senator Schumer said, “The Great Lakes are a massive economic engine, not only for the tourism and recreation industries, but also for the shipping, logistics, agriculture, energy, and finance industries, as well as a source of drinking water. Because of their huge impact on so many facets of life, investing in the Great Lakes means investing in the future of Upstate New York. I will continue to fight to ensure that generations to come can continue to enjoy the full natural beauty and economic energy of the Great Lakes.”
The Great Lakes region includes eight states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania – and two Canadian provinces. According to the Office of Coastal Management at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for every dollar invested in Great Lakes protection, the return on investment is $3.35, or 335%. NOAA said for every $1 million invested in Great Lakes restoration and protection, 16 jobs are created.
In total, the Great Lakes account for 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and contain about 21% of the world’s supply. More than 30 million people in the U.S. and Canada live in the Great Lakes Basin – roughly 10% of the U.S. population and more than 30% of the Canadian population.