Press Releases

LCV and Great Lakes state partners celebrate new federal restoration funding

Feb 17, 2022

Nick Abraham,, 206-833-7021

The Great Lakes – In response to President Biden’s visit to the shores of Lake Erie to announce the EPA’s investment of $1 Billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to significantly accelerate cleanup and restore the Great Lakes, the League of Conservation Voters and our partners, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Illinois Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, and New York League of Conservation Voters, released the following statements: 

Kerry Schumann, Executive Director of Wisconsin Conservation Voters – 

“The Great Lakes, though massive, are not immune to threats. From industrial pollution to invasive species, the world’s largest source of freshwater is vulnerable despite its great size. The climate crisis only exacerbates these threats. As a Great Lakes state, Wisconsin has a keen interest in keeping the region and its water resources clean and healthy. This unprecedented $1 billion investment under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act is a significant step for protecting the Great Lakes and the people who depend on their health.”

Brain Gill, Federal Policy Director of Illinois Environmental Council – 

“The Biden administration is prioritizing the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes. The millions of Illinoisans who rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, food, recreation and tourism will benefit from this unprecedented investment.”

 Bentley Johnson, federal Government Affairs Director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters – 

“Our Great Lakes are part of our way of life here in Michigan, and this funding will help protect these valuable resources for years to come. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a critical tool to preserve our Great Lakes, and the additional $1 billion from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help clean up pollution in watersheds around our Great Lakes that are the source of drinking water for millions of people.” 

Trish Demeter, Director of the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) Action Fund – 

“We applaud President Biden and his administration for their historic investment to restore healthy waterways throughout the Great Lakes, including important strides to delist Ohio’s remaining areas of concern by 2030. We have a lot of work left to do to fully restore and protect Lake Erie. Today’s funding announcement will accelerate important clean up efforts, while also supporting critical efforts to reduce agricultural runoff, restore vital habitat, protect millions of Ohioans’ drinking water, and equitably invest in underserved communities.”

Julie Tighe, President of New York League of Conservation Voters – 

“These investments in the Great Lakes, from protecting a vital source of drinking water for tens of millions, to cleanup projects that will restore natural habitats and revitalize native species, are significant and critical across the country. Initiatives like this are bipartisan, popular, and more important now than ever here in New York to not only make once-in-a-generation progress, but doing so the right way to supercharge the green economy with good-paying jobs.”

Madeleine Foote, Deputy Legislative Director for League of Conservation Voters –

“It is no coincidence that many of the most severely environmentally degraded sites in the Great Lakes are located in low income communities and communities of color. By targeting these historic investments in those communities, the administration is making significant progress on its Justice40 Initiative and helping to ensure every community has access to the clean water they need to thrive. However, while we applaud the administration’s actions today, the climate crisis threatens the future of the Great Lakes — Congress must quickly pass the Build Back Better agenda to ensure they can continue to serve as sources of drinking water, recreation, and a way of life for generations to come.”

The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh surface water on earth and supply drinking water for tens of millions of Americans. 1.3 million people work in jobs supported by the waterways and the area serves as one of the largest recreation areas in the country. The Environmental Protection Agency’s clean up effort projects to complete restoration in 22 of the region’s 25 “areas of concern” by 2030.