The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has submitted a report to Congress and the President that summarizes progress under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in 2016. The report provides detailed information on GLRI accomplishments and funding allocations for participating federal agencies on a yearly basis.
"I’m proud that through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, we are fulfilling our mission to restore the health of the water that so many of our communities depend on," said EPA Administrator and Great Lakes Interagency Task Force Chair Scott Pruitt. "As we now understand more than ever, we don’t have to choose between the health of our environment and the health of our economy – we can have both.”
The GLRI was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. With more than $2.3 billion in GLRI investments and strong bipartisan support, 11 federal departments and partners from states, tribes, academia and businesses are working together to produce unprecedented results, including:
- increasing property values and property tax bases by cleaning up “Areas of Concern,” 43 highly contaminated sites targeted for cleanup by the United States and Canada;
- preventing the introduction of silver and bighead carp, species that threaten the region’s economy and ecology; and
- working with the agricultural community to reduce nutrient runoff to sensitive waterways
Since 2010, the GLRI has helped fund more than 3,500 projects to improve water quality, protect and restore native habitats and species, prevent and control invasive species, and address other Great Lakes environmental problems. In 2014, the Interagency Task Force developed a five-year plan to strategically guide GLRI actions from 2015-2019 and to target resources to address the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem.