In today’s Toledo Blade, Senator Portman wrote an op-ed detailing his efforts to protect and preserve Lake Erie. For example, Portman has fought to protect funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from cuts proposed by the Obama administration. In his op-ed, which follows yesterday’s news that the new administration has proposed to eliminate funding for the GLRI, Portman says that the GLRI is necessary to keep progress going on efforts to improve the health of Lake Erie and the tourism, fishing, and recreation that surrounds it:

GLRI helps Ohio preserve the treasure of Lake Erie. I’m going to keep fighting for the funding we need, just as I have in the past. After several years of progress in protecting Lake Erie, we cannot afford to go backward.”

Excerpts of the op-ed can be found below and the full op-ed can be found at this link.

Protect Lake Erie and Keep Progress Going

By Rob Portman

Toledo Blade

March 17, 2017

Lake Erie is a treasure for Ohio, providing 3 million Ohioans with drinking water and hundreds of thousands of Ohioans with good jobs in our billion-dollar fishing industry and the broader tourism industry. About 7 million people visit Lake Erie every year, spending nearly $13 billion in Ohio.

I am proud to be co-chair, with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) of the Senate’s Great Lakes Task Force, a bipartisan group of senators who advocate for policies that protect the Great Lakes.

During my six years in the U.S. Senate, I have authored a number of bills that President Obama signed into law to protect our lake, including a law to prioritize funding to fight the harmful algal blooms that caused half a million people in Toledo to lose their drinking water in August of 2014.