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  Great Lakes Restoration
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What's New
Toronto waterfront to undergo $1.185-billion flood-protection makeover
The Globe and Mail (6/28)
In Toronto, the $1.185-billion Port Lands Flood Protection project will let the Don River flow more freely into Lake Ontario, as it once did.

Ottawa River shows health improvement
The Toledo Blade (4/6)
After more than 22 years of restoration projects costing millions of dollars, Toledo’s long-beleaguered Ottawa River — once considered Ohio’s most polluted — is showing more comeback signs.

Some say Kasich’s speech lacks depth on Lake Erie
The Toledo Blade (4/6)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich says about $2.5 billion has been invested in Lake Erie since the start of his administration, but some think these efforts have been very preliminary.

Gorge Dam removal pushing ahead, despite threats to Great Lakes Restoration funds
The Plain Dealer (3/19)
Despite fears $300 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be eliminated, officials are planning to remove the Gorge Dam located in Akron, Ohio, even if they have to find money somewhere else.

Riverfront revival efforts recognized in St. Clair County
The Voice (3/19)
A major shoreline restoration project, the state’s first national water trail and a massive waterfront convention center have put the spotlight on St. Clair County and the city of Port Huron, Michigan.

How one environmentalist is leading the charge to clean up the polluted Muskegon Lake
Rapid Growth (3/16)
Michigan's Muskegon Lake is one of 43 federal Great Lakes Areas of Concern deemed the "worst of the worst" when it comes to legacy industrial pollution. Stakeholders are working to clean it up, balancing environmental and business interests.

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The restoration, protection and sustainable use of the Great Lakes is of utmost concern to the region's residents, officials and resource managers in all levels of government, and environmental stewards in both the United States and Canada. Building on years of research, monitoring and planning, the region came together in 2005 and developed the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes. The Strategy was developed with input from more than 1,500 stakeholders and identifies priorities, defines problems, outlines solutions, and provides clear goals and objectives for measuring progress in cleaning up the Great Lakes. The Strategy is accepted by state and federal agencies, business and industry, and environmental organizations as the primary blueprint for restoring the Great Lakes.

Early in 2009, President Obama released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 which includes a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Initiative will accelerate Great Lakes restoration by investing $475 million to confront some of the most serious threats to the region, including invasive species, nonpoint source pollution and toxic sediments. The Initiative represents a significant down payment on a multiyear effort to fully implement the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration restoration strategy.

An investment in Great Lakes restoration will help with other efforts to reinvigorate the economy of a region especially hard hit by recent downturns in the global economy. In the Great Lakes region, freshwater and access to the lakes are intertwined with economic activity and are fundamental to our future. The Brookings Institution has estimated that implementing the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy will generate $50 billion in long-term benefits.

This section on GLIN offers a quick reference guide to the various restoration programs and campaigns currently underway at the regional, national and binational levels.

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General Resources
EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
This U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office webpage provides up-to-date information on the President's budget proposal to allocate $475 million towards an EPA-led interagency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (GLRC)
The GLRC brings together the Federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, the Great Lakes States, Tribes, local communities and other interests to develop and carry out a coordinated and comprehensive Great Lakes protection and restoration strategy. In 2005, GLRC released the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes which identifies action plans for addressing eight of the most significant broad-scale issues affecting the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Restoration and Protection
Council of Great Lakes Governors
The Council of Great Lakes Governors is a non-partisan partnership between the Governors of the eight Great Lakes States and the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec to facilitate the advancement of strategic alliances within the region for the continued protection of the environment and the ongoing development of a world-class regional economy. In 2003, the Council identified Priorities for the Protection and Restoration of the Great Lakes which subsequently provided the framework for the GLRC Strategy. The website also contains links to external communications by the Council.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. A task force of 11 federal agencies developed an action plan to implement the initiative. This website features the GLRI Action Plan, a list of GLRI Task Force member organizations, an interactive map of GLRI projects, specific project highlights, grantee information, and more useful resources regarding this important initiative.

Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives
Healing Our Waters®-Great Lakes Coalition
The Healing Our Waters®- Great Lakes Coalition (HOW) is a coalition of over 100 non-profit organization and academic institutions leading restoration and protection efforts in the Great Lakes. Its website contains a variety of information regarding the Lakes, protection efforts, and legislative and policy initiatives.

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Congressional Resources
Great Lakes Commission Advocacy
Great Lakes Commission
Contains fact sheets, information and further links to information about the activities of the Great Lakes Commission in support of Great Lakes restoration priorities.

Great Lakes Congressional Task Force
Northeast-Midwest Institute
The bipartisan task force promotes appropriation and authorization bills to enhance environmental quality and economic development throughout the Great Lakes basin. The website contains information about the task force activities including appropriations letters and Congressional briefings.

Great Lakes Legislative Priorities Tracking: Great Lakes Restoration
Great Lakes Information Network
This web-based tool to provides up-to-date information on Great Lakes legislative priorities. The site offers a searchable database of current restoration priorities and related legislation, news updates, announcements of hearings and briefings, and information about members of the Great Lakes Congressional Delegation, including bills they've sponsored, maps of congressional districts and much more.

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Programs and Initiatives
Federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force (IATF)
Created by Executive Order 13340, the IATF brings together Cabinet and federal Agency heads to coordinate the restoration of the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is an independent binational coalition of mayors and other local officials working to advance to the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The USFWS Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team is comprised of participation by the 43 field stations in the Great Lakes ecosystem and represent a range of Service programs that work to restore and protect the Nation's trust resources, including migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, and interjurisdictional fisheries.

Great Lakes Commission Legislative Priorities
Great Lakes Commission
The Great Lake's Commission's annual legislative priorities document recommendations for protecting and restoring the Great Lakes; the website also contains links to facts sheets on specific restoration topics.

Great Lakes Economic Initiative
The Brookings Institution
The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, in partnership with a network of academic, public policy, business and civic organizations, began a multi-year research and policy development initiative in 2005 to improve the economic vitality of the Great Lakes region. This website provides information and reports related to economic development and environmental restoration in the region.

Great Lakes Habitat Implementation Plan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Through the Energy & Water Appropriations Act of 2006, the Corps of Engineers set aside $1 million to develop an implementation plan for site-specific actions to protect, restore and manage aquatic habitat in the Great Lakes Basin that builds upon the Strategy of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.

Great Lakes Legislative Caucus
The Great Lakes Legislative Caucus is a nonpartisan group of state and provincial lawmakers who are committed to promoting the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes. The Caucus tracks both Federal and State Great Lakes legislation and contains a comprehensive list of Congressional and state legislative representatives whose districts lie in the Basin.

Great Lakes Restoration Campaign
National Wildlife Federation
Along with other collaborators, NWF is currently engaged in a national campaign to convince Congress and the President to enact a comprehensive restoration plan for the Great Lakes. Their website has updates on their campaign work as well as fact sheets and educational materials for the general public.

Large Scale Restoration Initiatives, Protecting and Restoring the Great Lakes
Northeast-Midwest Institute
This webpage provides general information about the ecosystem, events which led to the degradation of the Great Lakes, and activities supporting the Lakes' restoration.

Michigan's Great Lakes Protection and Restoration Initiative
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
In response to the economic and environmental imperative for protecting the Great Lakes, the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes is leading an effort to prepare and implement a Michigan Great Lakes Plan (MI-Great Lakes Plan) to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes for current and future generations. This webpage Contain links to the MI-Great Lakes Plan and other information related to the protection and restoration of Michigan waterways and the Great Lakes.

Sustain our Great Lakes Grant Program
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
This program provides grants to organizations working to protect, restore or enhance the habitat for fish wildlife and plants of the Great Lakes watershed

Wisconsin's Great Lakes Strategy
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
The Wisconsin DNR Office of Great Lakes is drafting a Wisconsin Great Lakes Restoration and Protection Strategy to serve as the vehicle for coordinating and allocating resources for Great Lakes restoration.

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2009 Great Lakes Agenda
Healing Our Waters®-Great Lakes Coalition
The Coalition presents its Congressional action plan for the Great Lakes.

2010 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Summary of Proposed Programs and Projects
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
This document provides a greater level of detail regarding the programs and projects to be funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (originally posted on June 15, 2009).

Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes
Great Lakes Regional Collaboration
Released in 2005, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes identifies priorities, defines problems, outlines solutions, and provides clear goals and objectives for measuring progress in cleaning up the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes –Great Jobs: Advancing Great Lakes Restoration and Economic Revitalization, Great Lakes Commission Federal Priorities for FY 2010
Great Lakes Commission
Each year, the Great Lakes Commission develops a set of legislative priorities to protect and enhance the quality of our region’s environment and economy. These priorities are presented to Congress at the annual Great Lakes Day in Washington.

Great Promise for the Great Lakes: Regional Priorities for the Great Lakes Restoration
Great Lakes regional organizations highlight priorities for federal administrative and congressional action.

Healthy Waters, Strong Economy: The Benefits of Restoring the Great Lakes Ecosystem
The Brookings Institution
This report, released in 2007, shows that implementing the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy will generate an estimated $50 billion in long-term benefits.

Our Great Lakes
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada
A recent binational update on the health of the Great Lakes takes a plain-language approach to a complex set of issues, and frames these with a lake-loving readership's key concerns foremost in mind.

The Great Lakes Program to Ensure Environmental and Economic Prosperity
Great Lakes Commission
The Great Lakes Program, an annually distributed and updated publication, is a descriptive listing of the federal legislative and appropriations priorities of the Great Lakes Commission.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Funding and Grant Sources in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Invasive Species in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Lakewide Management Plans
GLIN: Legislative Priorities Tracking
GLIN: Toxic Contamination in the Great Lakes Region

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Updated: December 13, 2017
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