Portman Praises Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill Fully Funding Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

August 1, 2018 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, praised Senate passage of the Interior, Financial Services, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture funding package for FY 2019. This legislation 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 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 protect and preserve Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for supporting this legislation, and I will continue to push for full funding in FY19 and beyond.” 

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 FY18 spending bill after the Administration proposed to eliminate the program in the President’s FY18 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 championed numerous pieces of legislation to protect and preserve clean drinking water and the health of Lake Erie. Portman received a Clean Water Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) for his efforts, and has worked diligently to make drinking water safe for all Ohioans, protect Lake Erie from dredged materials, harmful algal blooms, harmful plastic microbeads and invasive species, and more.