Sen. Baldwin aims to extend Great Lakes funding

WASHINGTON, DC (GRAY DC BUREAU) - While you may be spending your summer swimming or boating near the beach, Midwestern lawmakers are in Washington working to keep our lakes safe.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) introduced legislation, this week, to reauthorize and expand funding for Great Lake safety and restoration efforts.

As of now, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is set to expire in 2021. The bipartisan legislation would extend the bill, while increasing the current authorization level from $300 million to $375 million in Fiscal Year 2022. It would then increase funding by $25 million per year until it reaches $475 million in Fiscal Year 2026.

This initiative, in part, aims to clean and delist Areas of Concern, reduce phosphorous run-off and algae blooms, and control invasive species.

“There should be a federal or international role in protecting our Great Lakes because each state can’t shoulder all of this on their own,” said Sen. Baldwin. “It necessitates coordination collaboration and an all out effort to make sure our Great Lakes are protected.”

Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $2.5 billion to fund 4,706 projects throughout the Great Lakes region.