Portman Announces Bipartisan Funding Agreement Fully Funds Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

February 14, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, announced that the bipartisan funding agreement passed by the Senate today, and expected to be signed by President Trump, includes the full $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to help protect the Great Lakes. Portman sent a letter to Chairman Murkowski in April 2018 urging full funding for the GLRI. 

The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and GLRI has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy,” said Portman.As the world’s largest freshwater body, the Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people, contribute $10 billion in tourism each year, and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region.  I have long championed this program, and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure it is fully funded so we can protect and preserve Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes.” 

NOTE: The legislation provides $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in FY 2019. Portman worked to secure the full $300 million for GLRI in the FY 2018 spending bill after the Administration proposed to eliminate the program in the president’s FY 2018 budget request. In 2016, Portman led efforts to successfully reauthorize the GLRI program for five years as part of the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016. GLRI is a results-driven program to address the most serious threats to the Great Lakes, including invasive species, pollution, and toxic contamination. 

Portman has led efforts in the U.S. Senate to protect and preserve Lake Erie and the Great Lakes. He received a Clean Water Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) for his efforts.