Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) voted today in favor of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 (H.R. 4031). This bill reauthorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for another five years and increases authorized funding for the program from $300 million annually to $475 million annually by fiscal year 2026.
“The Great Lakes are our region’s most precious resource. In the face of climate change, it’s critical we do everything in our power to safeguard the long-term health and well-being of the world’s largest source of fresh water. As a Member of Congress from Northeast Ohio, I recognize the need to protect our waterways and National parks," said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Lake Erie alone supports more than 117,000 full time jobs and provides clean drinking water to 3 million Ohioans. I am happy to join my colleagues in the Ohio delegation in this effort to ensure the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has a reliable source of funding to carry out its important mission. We owe it to future generations of Ohioans and Americans to be good stewards of the earth’s resources.”
Since its inception in 2010, the GLRI has significantly contributed to the protection and preservation of the Great Lakes, which provide more than 1.5 million jobs, supply 90% of our nation’s fresh surface water, support over 3,500 species of plants and animals, and generate $62 billion in wages every year. Specifically, the program has helped triple the successful cleanup and delisting of Areas of Concern, restore 50,000 acres of coastal wetlands across the region, reduce phosphorus runoff and the threat of harmful algal blooms, control invasive species, and double farmland acres under nutrient conservation. All of this progress has resulted in economic returns of more than 3-to-1 across the region.
In the 114th Congress, Ryan’s legislation to require the EPA to appoint a coordinator to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and other Great Lakes was included as a provision in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act, which passed the House in April of 2016.