Dear Minister McKenna:
We write to express our interest in a proposal that would establish a process to create a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in Canada.
We understand that mayors, industry, non-governmental organizations, fishery advocates, tribal governments, and the Federal and provincial governments have been engaging in a collaborative process to develop such a plan for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments. We encourage you to fully consider this proposed process.
In the United States, we have witnessed the positive ecological, environmental, and economic benefits of coordinated , strategic federal Great Lakes investment. The GLRI has provided more than $2 billion for Great Lakes protection and restoration and has been instrumental in restoring freshwater ecosystems , spurring economic opportunity, and redeveloping waterfront communities. The impact of the GLRI could be amplified and leveraged by a Canadian strategy for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence investments. In unde11aking a collaborative process to develop such plan, our respective governments would be able to coordinate Great Lakes and St. Lawrence investment more strategically and, in tum, strengthen binational ties.
The Great Lakes region has made incredible strides since the GLRI's inception, but we still have significant work to do. By working together to protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, we can continue to provide our region with drinking water for over 48 million people, 1.5 million jobs, and a $5.8 trillion shared cross-border economy.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to continue working with the Government of Canada to protect and restore our region's shared water resources.