Bill to reauthorize critical resources for conserving and protecting Great Lakes fish and wildlife now heads to President’s desk to be signed into law

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that the Senate passed her bipartisan legislation to support fish and wildlife restoration in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act, which Klobuchar led with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Todd Young (R-IN), reauthorizes critical resources to conserve and protect fish and wildlife populations in the Great Lakes. The bill will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

“The Great Lakes are a major part of Minnesotans’ way of life, providing clean drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, and opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation will provide resources to protect fish and wildlife, combat threats such as invasive species, and help ensure Minnesotans can safely enjoy the Great Lakes for years to come. Now that this bill has passed the Senate, I look forward to seeing it swiftly signed into law.” 

“I applaud the Senate for passing the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, which helps protect Lake Erie by delivering resources to Ohio and the Great Lakes region to address the greatest threats to our fish and wildlife — threats like invasive species and habitat degradation,” said Portman. “By reauthorizing this program through FY 2027, we are providing the Fish and Wildlife Service with the resources it needs to protect our Lakes and preserve our environment for generations to come. I look forward to it being sent to the president’s desk for his signature shortly.”

“Many Americans across the country consider the Great Lakes to be a crown jewel of North America,” said Young. “Reauthorizing the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act will provide the critical resources necessary to revive habitats across the Great Lakes Basin.”

The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act, which the senators introduced last year, reauthorizes $6 million annually through 2027 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to partner with other federal agencies, states, and tribes to conserve, restore and manage fish and wildlife resources. The legislation also implements the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and renews continued efforts to address impacts associated with invasive species throughout the Great Lakes Basin. The bill, led by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Darrin LaHood (R-IL), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and David Joyce (R-OH) in the House, also passed the House in April. 

As vice-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Klobuchar is a leading advocate for protecting the Great Lakes. In February, she secured significant federal funding through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act to clean-up and work to delist the St. Louis River Area of Concern in Lake Superior.

Klobuchar has worked to bolster pollution clean-up efforts in the Great Lakes, prevent diversions of Great Lakes water out of the region, and establish new water conservation and environmental protection standards in the Great Lakes area. She has also fought to keep aquatic invasive species out of Minnesota’s rivers and lakes, including authoring legislation to help fight the spread of invasive carp that was signed into law in 2014.