Friends of the Rouge owes a debt of gratitude to United States Senator Debbie Stabenow for being a wonderful friend to the Rouge. The announcement last week by Senator Stabenow that she will not seek re-election in 2024 means the retirement of a great Rouge River champion who brought in much needed river cleanup dollars. Senator Stabenow has been a steadfast advocate for Great Lakes Restoration. She authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in 2010 that has brought over $2.9 billion to the Great Lakes includes $700 million to Michigan.
GLRI funding is critical to the cleanup of the Rouge River. Just this past year, Senator Stabenow worked to secure $1 billion in additional funding for the restoration of nine high priority areas including the Rouge, Detroit and Clinton Rivers through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The new generation of leaders that Senator Stabenow will “pass the torch” to in 2025 have large shoes to fill and it is our hope that they continue to prioritize the complete restoration of the Rouge River and the Great Lakes. We look forward to working with Senator Stabenow over the next two years and thank her for her incredible service to the river.
Photo caption: Senator Stabenow highlights the Wayne Road Dam opening, a GLRI funded project to restore fish habitat in the Rouge. From left: John O’meara, Brandy Siedlaczek, Debbie Stabenow, Bill Craig, Sally Petrella.