The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was renewed for another five years earlier this week

IMG_1925_medium

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was renewed for another five years. Congress will have have to approve spending every year to keep the program funded.

The initiative allows projects throughout the state to help reduce pollution, battle invasive species and monitor fisheries.

Don Uzarski is with the Institute for Great Lakes Research at Central Michigan University. He said the initiative helps fund the institute’s work to monitor coastal wetlands.

“The Great Lakes are responsible for a good part of our economy, the Great Lakes provide 1.5 million jobs basin wide, 80,000 of the jobs are directly related to the fishery.”

Uzarski said the Great Lakes Research Institute was given 10-million dollars through the initiative in 2015.

“Over the first five years there was at least one study that shows that there was a two to one return on federal dollars for restoring the great lakes. So by improving water quality, increasing recreation, improving the fishery, this was a good investment. Now there’s a more recent study that’s out, that looks over the next five years we will be increasing that to a 6 to 1 ratio.”