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Huizenga Statement on President Trump Signing Legislation to Protect & Restore the Great Lakes, Extend GLRI

Tonight, Congressman Bill Huizenga, who serves as co-chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force, released the following statement after President Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law that will protect, preserve, and strengthen the Great Lakes for an additional five years. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 will reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) until the end of FY 2026. Additionally, this law will also increase the GLRI’s current funding level from $300 million to $375 million in Fiscal Year 2022 and increase funding by an additional $25 million each year until it reaches $475 million in Fiscal Year 2026.

“The Great Lakes Restoration initiative is the lead federal program to promote the health and strengthen the economy of the Great Lakes,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga, Co-Chair of the House Great Lakes Task Force. “Making the Great Lakes a national priority has been one of my top goals in Congress. By signing this bipartisan legislation into law, President Trump has kept his promise to West Michigan. This new law will protect, restore, and strengthen both the ecology and the economy of the Great Lakes for years to come.”

In February, Congressman Huizenga helped champion passage of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate passed the measure on December 20, 2020.

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.

Last week, the EPA announced the completion of a $6.6 million project in Muskegon as well as a $2.9 million project along the Detroit Riverwalk. Both projects were completed using funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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