October 2023

The Caucus Current

Recap: GLLC 2023 Annual Meeting in Québec City

On September 8-9, legislators from across the basin gathered in Québec City for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus Annual Meeting. Over the two-day program, legislators participated in a workshop on nutrient management and climate resiliency, as well as education sessions on federal Great Lakes actions in the U.S. and Canada, PFAS, working with Indigenous communities on Great Lakes protection, water affordability, and Great Lakes shipping.

The GLLC members also approved a new five-year strategic plan and policy agenda (more detail below) and passed five resolutions. The 2024 Annual Meeting is scheduled for September 13-14, 2024 in Duluth, MN.

Thank you to all of the members, speakers and Great Lakes partners who attended, and to our generous funders and sponsors:

The GLLC Approves New 2023-2027 Policy Agenda

At the GLLC 2023 Annual Meeting, the membership approved an updated policy agenda after revisions proposed by the Executive Committee. The activity of the GLLC, including annual meetings, web meetings, Patricia Birkholz Institutes, regional legislative activity, and other advocacy efforts, is based on the approved agenda.

The issue areas are outlined below. See the full policy agenda with additional detail here.

Water Consumption: Ensure the availability of safe, clean, affordable drinking water


Toxic Substances: Remediate and prevent further pollution from emerging and legacy contaminants


Nutrient Management: Work with nonpoint source nutrient producers to reduce runoff

Aquatic Invasive Species: Control and prevent further introduction and movement of non-native species


Coastal Resiliency: Plan and respond to the impacts of climate change on Great Lakes communities

Great Lakes State and Provincial Legislative Tracker

The GLLC maintains a one-of-a-kind list of active state and provincial legislation related to Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin environmental policy. The tracker includes active bills in the five GLLC policy areas being considered in all 10 GLLC jurisdictions. Take a look to see the work of colleagues across the basin:

State and Provincial Legislative Tracker

ICYMI: FEMA's Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program

Officials from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) joined the GLLC on August 11 to provide a virtual update on the newly formed Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program.

Authorized by the STORM Act signed into law in 2021, this new federal program capitalizes state and tribal government revolving loans funds to be disbursed to eligible local and tribal governments to "mitigate the impacts of natural hazards." Qualifying projects mitigate impacts and increase resilience for weather events, such as drought, extreme heat, severe storms, wildfires, floods, and earthquakes.

However, the capitalization funding is finite and requires an application from the state or tribal government in order to be considered for the limited funding. For the first year of funding, FEMA capitalized loan funds for Michigan, New York, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Virginia. Another application process will close in spring 2024.

Participation in this FEMA program is being considered for recommendation by the GLLC Task Force on Climate Resiliency as it examines adaptation and resilience polices to guide the region.

The presentation slides can be found here.

Upcoming Events

CSG Midwest Policy Workshop: The Future of the Midwest's Energy Workforce

November 17-18, 2023

Chicago, IL

AAAS Webinar: PFAS, Sociodemographic Factors and Implications for Communities and Environmental Justice

American Association for the Advancement of Science

November 29, 2023

Virtual (register at link above)

GLLC Task Force on Climate Resiliency Virtual Meeting

December 1, 2023

Zoom (email Jess Lienhardt for meeting link)

Save the Date: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Science and Policy Workshop

Great Lakes Commission

April 9-10, 2024

Maumee, OH

Save the Date: GLLC 2024 Annual Meeting

September 13-14, 2024

Duluth, MN

About the GLLC

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus (GLLC) is a binational, nonpartisan organization that exists solely for the purpose of engaging state and provincial legislators in the policymaking process related to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Secretariat services are provided by The Council of State Governments' Midwestern Office. Financial support is provided in part by The Joyce Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation provides support for the GLLC's work on nutrient pollution.

For more information about the caucus, visit the GLLC website or email [email protected].