Since 2009, Congress has invested billions of dollars through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in projects in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. These projects have restored acres of fish and wildlife habitat; opened up fish access in rivers; helped farmers—in combination with other programs—implement conservation programs on rural working lands; and accelerated the cleanup of toxic hotspots. In the previous two decades before the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, only one site identified as a toxic hotspot had been completely cleaned up.
Restoration investments, according to 2018 analysis, are creating a greater than 3-to-1 return on investment in local communities driving new real estate/commercial development and a resurgence in water-based outdoor recreation. All boosting tourism, housing options, and home values.
Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are producing ecological and economic results. But serious threats remain. Congress must continue supporting our communities by fully funding key restoration programs to protect our drinking water, public health, jobs, and quality of life.
For more information on these projects and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s involvement, click here.