Ohio Senators announce full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C (WTVG) - United States Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today announced full funding of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in the government funding measure Congress is expected to pass this week.

Last year, the President proposed eliminating GLRI and the Senators worked together to ensure it was fully funded in this appropriations bill for the rest of the fiscal year. President Trump’s most recent budget proposed cutting GLRI by 90 percent. The Obama administration also proposed cuts to the program. The package Congress is expected to vote on this week will ensure GLRI is fully funded through the end of the fiscal year.

“Efforts to slash funding for GLRI were met again with fierce opposition from all the Ohioans who rely on Lake Erie for a job, a source of water or a place to be outside with their families,” said Brown. “I’m glad to continue working with Senator Portman to ensure GLRI has its full strength as communities continue their important work to keep Lake Erie clean.”

“The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy,” said Portman. “I am pleased that the final bipartisan funding agreement fully funds this critical program, and I will continue to work Senator Brown to protect and preserve Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes.”

Brown and Portman have worked to strengthen the GLRI – a highly successful program that has targeted the most significant problems in the region and jumpstarted restoration efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. Last year, the two helped ensure that the measure included $300 million for GLRI for the remainder of the fiscal year, battling back reported attempts to cut the GLRI.