U.S. Congressmen Call On Canada For More Action to Protect our Great Lakes

Congressmembers Brian Higgins of New York & Bill Huizenga of Michigan Lead Push for Greater Commitment from Canada on Great Lakes

Leaders Stress Importance & Benefits of Joint Effort to Protect Shared Fresh Water Resources

A News Release from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted March 9th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins. File photo

Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Bill Huizenga (MI-04) are leading an effort to encourage the Government of Canada to strengthen its commitment to protecting and investing in the Great Lakes.

In a letter to President Biden, the Members say, “we write to underscore the importance of the Great Lakes to the United States and Canada, as well as the shared commitment that both our nations must uphold to support the Great Lakes.”

President Biden has announced his intention to visit Canada and meet with Prime Minister Trudeau during the month of March.

The Congressmembers are asking for this issue to be a priority in bilateral discussions, writing “We encourage you to highlight the importance of this binational resource, the investments needed to restore and protect the Great Lakes during your official visit to Canada…”

Joining Reps. Higgins and Huizenga on the bipartisan letter are Congressmembers Jack Bergman (MI-01-R), Debbie Dingell (MI-06-D), Mike Gallagher (WI-08-R), David Joyce (OH-14-R), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09-D), John Moolenaar (MI-02-R), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-07-D).

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative<https://www.epa.gov/great-lakes-funding/great-lakes-restoration-initiative-glri> (GLRI) funding authorized by Congress will provide a record $3.125 billion in U.S. investments in and around the Great Lakes over 5 years.

In recent years the GLRI has been funded by the U.S. at around $300 million annually.

The Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh, drinkable water in the world, if we have the sense to look after them.

By comparison, the Government of Canada committed just $32.97 million (USD) between 2017 and 2022, with plans for a $9M annual commitment ($6.6M USD) moving forward.

An analysis<https://lsa.umich.edu/econ/rsqe/impact-analysis/great-lakes-restoration.html> conducted five years ago by the University of Michigan found that each dollar invested by the U.S. government through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative generated an economic return of $3.35 across all regions and even greater economic activity in some regions.

Congressmembers Higgins and Huizenga are members of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force and Co-Chairs of the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group. Rep. Higgins’ Western New York district borders Lakes Erie and Ontario. Rep. Huizenga’s Southwestern Michigan district borders Lake Michigan.

A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper – Shame on Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals for their lame interest in protecting and preserving our Great Lakes –  one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world.

Sorry Mr. Prime Minister, but sometimes doing a photo op, kayaking in the Niagara River as Justin Trudeau did here in 2017 on World Earth Day, is not enough! A little less theatrics and more action please.

Here in Niagara, there has been little or no public or signal to citizens at large of a  demonstrable interest or of concern backed by action shown by Trudeau Liberals in a host of matters, including declaring the Canadians side of the Niagara River (as our American neighnours have) a world-recognized (under the RAMSAR protocal)  wetland worthy of protection, or in pushing back against the assaults from the Ontario Ford government on saving our  wetlands, woodlands and greenlands as a whole, or on weakening and, in some cases gutting environmental and conservation agencies and programs so relevant to protecting the water and the biodiversity of our Great Lakes.

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


One response to “U.S. Congressmen Call On Canada For More Action to Protect our Great Lakes

  1. Cindy Mitchell

    Thank you for this important article. Too many people remain unaware of the continued fragility of our lakes. In addition, it is shocking that a large percentage of people are not even aware that aquifers exist and are in need of protection. People cannot see an aquifer and they do not know the vast amount of groundwater could sustain the needs of a large population. Aquifers interact with our wetlands and lakes ( ecosystem etc).


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