The U.S. Senate has passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which authorized $300 million per year, for the fiscal years 2017 through 2021, for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said in their announcement that this funding authorization is a major win for the State of New York.
“It is imperative that we properly monitor, preserve and rehabilitate the shores of our Great Lakes so residents and visitors can enjoy these invaluable Upstate NY resources for years to come,” said Senator Schumer.
“Protecting New York’s most vital resources – like Lake Ontario and Lake Erie – remains a top priority of mine and I am committed to ensuring we get the highest level of funding for the GLRI program. We worked hard to pass this bill that has long supported vital projects across Upstate NY and its waterways, and now I’m hopeful that this bill will earn strong bipartisan support in the House and quickly become law.”
Senator Gillibrand said:“The restoration of the Great Lakes is critical to preserving our environment and revitalizing our economy. Through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative we can continue to make a targeted effort to safeguard and restore our freshwater ecosystems, and reserve the natural beauty of the Great Lakes for future generations.”
This five-year reauthorization will provide $1.5 billion in total for the initiative, which has funded hundreds of projects along the Great Lakes, including many in Upstate NY along waterways like Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
The GLRI was launched by the Obama Administration in 2010, and has funded projects in New York to improve water quality, combat invasive species, and restore wetlands and other habitats.