WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, the Senate unanimously passed legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) that will reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for another five years and increase authorized funding for the program from $300 million annually to $475 million annually by fiscal year 2026. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The GLRI Act of 2019 was introduced by 13 Senators and 40 Representatives, including Ohio’s own Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman, Dave Joyce (OH-14), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Tim Ryan, (OH-13), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), and Mike Turner (OH-10).

“Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s most important natural resources and we must do all we can to keep it healthy for the families, boaters, and anglers that use the lake every day,” said Brown. “We do that by ensuring the GLRI is operating at its full strength so communities can continue their important work keeping Lake Erie clean today and for the next generation.”

GLRI is a results-driven program, and this funding ensures that it has the resources it needs to address the most serious issues that threaten the ecological and economic wellbeing of the Great Lakes basin, including invasive species, pollution, and toxic contamination.

Brown has worked to secure important wins for Lake Erie through legislation and by speaking out against harmful proposals that threaten the health of Lake Erie.

Brown secured $320 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in the 2020 appropriations package. Brown also spoke out against the President’s 2021 budget, which would Cut USDA conservation programs that help improve water quality in Lake Erie. Brown and Portman worked together to ensure GLRI was not only reinstated but also fully funded after President Trump proposed eliminating the program in 2018.

Brown was also able to include several provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill to protect Lake Erie and Ohio Waterways. The final bill includes provisions from Brown’s bipartisan Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Act, which will better utilize existing federal conservation programs to protect waterways and expand access to quality farmland.