TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The funding for the agency that protects and restores the Great Lakes has been increased by $9 million.
The Senate passed the measure on Thursday that Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) proposed to increase the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GRLI) from $301 million to $310 million.
The initiative launched in 2010 and was originally funded with $2.5 billion to profit 3,600 projects in eight Great Lake states. And through 2016, it has benefited the Michigan's economy through boosting home prices, tourism spending and job creation, according to an analysis by the University of Michigan (U of M).
It was especially beneficial in waterfront areas because the funding allowed for communities to provide watersport activities such as kayaking, kitesurfing and paddle boarding which in turn lead to real estate and commercial development.
The study also found that each dollar spent through that time period will produce an additional $3.35 of economic activity in the Great Lakes region through 2036.
“We estimate that the GLRI projects we studied will lead to an additional $150 million of economic output in region in the year 2036,” said Gabriel Ehrlich, director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at [U of M].
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) helped Sen. Peters with securing the additional funding.
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