Sen. Levin said, "I am pleased that Senator Kirk will serve as co-chair of the task force, and I'm excited about our prospects to protect and enhance our Great Lakes. The task force has led the way to passage for legislation to clean up contaminated sediments, fight invasive species and prevent the diversion of precious fresh water from the Great Lakes basin. I look forward to working with Senator Kirk and I am confident that he will help add to that important legacy." Sen. Kirk said, "It is my honor to serve as co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force with Senator Levin. This bipartisan, bicameral Task Force will work to protect our Great Lakes -- the crown jewel of the Midwest's ecosystem. Recently, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and I have worked to crack down on raw sewage dumping into the lakes and my hope is to continue this momentum in the Great Lakes Task Force to develop bipartisan solutions and protect drinking water for 30 million Americans and for generations to come."
The Northeast-Midwest Institute (NEMW), in its mission to aid the states of the northeast and midwest, supports several Senate and Congressional Member Organizations including the House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces which are bipartisan working groups within the Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions that cooperate to enhance the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes. Founded in the mid-1980s, the Great Lakes Task Forces work together to advocate for policies and programs that enhance our unique natural resource -- the Great Lakes. Members of the Great Lakes Task Forces work together to build support for key regional programs to enhance environmental quality and economic development throughout the Great Lakes basin. The Task Forces convene member-level and staff-level events, including meetings, hearings, and briefings. They also collaborate to exercise agency oversight, and advance legislative and appropriation initiatives.