New public engagement process for the most important regeneration program in America: the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its federal partners develop an updated action plan for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a key part of the process will be seeking public input.

Starting in June, EPA will begin a series of public-input sessions on Great Lakes restoration and protection priorities.

This action plan will become the blueprint for our work,” said Debra Shore, EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager.

It is essential for us to take into account the priorities of the people who live, work, and play in the Great Lakes basin, especially people who live in historically underserved and overburdened communities,” she added.

Since 2010, the GLRI has provided funding to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward achieving long-term goals.

GLRI Action Plan III was published in 2019 to guide restoration and protection through 2024. Action Plan IV will cover 2025 through 2029.

As part of the GLRI Action Plan IV development process, EPA and its partners are seeking public input on the plan, including:

  • How the plan can be improved over previous GLRI action plans?
  • What key priorities should be included in the plan?
  • How can the plan be improved to better incorporate environmental justice and the impacts of climate change?

The first engagement session will be held on June 7 in Cleveland, followed by in-person sessions in Superior, Wisconsin, and Rochester, New York.

Additional engagement sessions in otherGreat Lakes cities will be announced soon.

EPA will also host virtual engagement sessions, with the first tentatively scheduled for June.

At each session, EPA will provide a quick overview of the GLRI and the purpose of the Action Plan, and then give public participants an opportunity to directly interact with EPA staff and ask questions and provide comments.

The currently scheduled in-person public engagement sessions are:

  • Cleveland, Ohio: Wednesday, June 7, 6-8 p.m.
    Cleveland Science Center
    601 Erieside Ave.
  • Superior, Wisconsin: Wednesday, July 12, 6-8 p.m.
    University of Wisconsin Superior
    Yellowjacket Union
    Belknap and Catlin Ave.
  • Rochester, New York: Wednesday, July 19, 6-8 p.m. (tentative)
    Rochester Museum and Science Center
    657 East Ave.

Photo of Sand Hill Cranes on the Great Lakes via Pixabay.

Learn more on the GLRI website.

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