Great Lakes restoration
Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes
Wisconsin's Great Lakes are an unspeakably beautiful natural resource that provide abundant recreational opportunities for residents, support thriving tourism and fishing industries, and provide shipping lanes for Wisconsin's manufacturing industry.
Unfortunately, our Lakes are in danger. Sewage overflows and algae blooms close beaches, toxic pollution harms wildlife, and invasive species destroy fragile ecosystems and clog industrial infrastructure. A 2008 Notre Dame study found that invasive species alone cost the region $200 million in losses to commercial fishing, sport fishing and the region's water supply.
In 2008, Clean Wisconsin reached a settlement agreement with the owners of the Elm Road Generating Station in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that will provide $100 million dollars to fund 25 years of Lake Michigan restoration and protection projects. These projects will help restore and preserve Lake Michigan by addressing water quality issues including invasive species, toxic pollution and habitat destruction.
Additionally, Clean Wisconsin works closely with the Healing our Waters Coalition to advocate for full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Introduced by President Obama and enacted by Congress in 2009, this program has been a great boost for Great Lakes restoration. The program has infused $475 million into successful programs and projects to solve some of the most vexing problems facing the lakes. Wisconsin received $29 million for 50 projects in 2010 alone.
We must address problems in the Great Lakes today. Every day we wait, the problems become more grave and the solutions more costly.