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Huizenga Applauds Senate Passing Critical Legislation to Renew and Strengthen Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

Tonight, Congressman Bill Huizenga, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force, released the following statement after the Senate unanimously passed legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019, which Congressman Huizenga helped champion through the House in February, will reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which is set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2021, for another five years. The bill also increases the current authorization level from $300 million to $375 million in Fiscal Year 2022 and increases funding by $25 million per year until it reaches $475 million in Fiscal Year 2026. This bipartisan Great Lakes legislation now heads to the President’s Desk for his signature.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has a proven track record of success in West Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “This bipartisan initiative is critical to our efforts to protect drinking water, prevent the spread of invasive species, and accelerate the clean-up of legacy pollution.  The economy and the ecology of the Great Lakes are directly tied together. The GLRI is a tremendous example of an effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars that protects, preserves, and strengthens the Great Lakes today and for future generations. I hope the President signs this bipartisan win for the Great Lakes as soon as possible."

In August, Grand Valley State University released new research detailing how efforts to restore Muskegon Lake through the GLRI have led to $27.9 million in additional recreational spending per year, increased property values by $7.9 million, and increased the total number of visits to Muskegon Lake by 11%. Overall, the GVSU study found that restoring Muskegon Lake has led to a 4% increase in recreational spending in Muskegon County.

In addition to the Grand Valley State University Study, a 2018 study by the University of Michigan found that every $1 invested from the GLRI between 2010 and 2016 will generate $3.35 in additional economic activity through 2036. In cities such as Detroit and Buffalo that investment will yield a return of over $4 for every $1 invested according to the U of M Study.

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