The House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces 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. The bipartisan Northeast-Midwest Coalitions have worked for over 30 years to advance the economic competitiveness, environmental quality, and energy interests of this 18-state region.

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.


House Great Lakes Task Force Members (as of February 2014)

Benishek Dan R MI
Camp Dave R MI
Dingell (Co-Chair) John D MI
Duffy (Co-Chair)
Sean R WI
Fudge Marcia D OH
Higgins Brian D NY
Joyce David R OH
Kaptur Marcy D OH
Kelly Mike R PA
Kind Ron D WI
Levin Sander M. D MI
Miller (Co-Chair) Candice R MI
Moore Gwen D WI
Peters Gary D MI
Quigley Mike D IL
Ryan Tim D OH
Slaughter (Co-Chair) Louise D NY
Upton Frederick R MI
Visclosky Peter D IN

Senate Great Lakes Task Force Members (as of January 2013)

Brown Sherrod D OH
Casey Robert D PA
Durbin Richard D IL
Franken Al D MN
Kirk (Co-Chair)
Mark R IL
Klobuchar Amy D MN
Levin (Co-Chair) Carl D MI
Schumer Charles D NY
Stabenow Debbie D MI


Key activities in the 111th Congress

  • Promoting legislative action and debate on a variety of bills important to the Great Lakes, such as ballist wastewater management, beach monitoring, phosphorus and harmful algal blooms.
  • Writing letters to several committees, subcommittees, and federal agencies about appropriations for Great Lakes programs, viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), ballast water legislation, and the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, among other key issues.
  • Organizing Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast (February 25, 2009). The annual breakfast, co-hosted by the Northeast-Midwest Institute and the Great Lakes Commission, was attended by many members and staff of the House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces. Several House and Senate Members also gave remarks, highlighting the urgent need for large-scale restoration funding, authorization of the dispersal barrier, and legislative action to stop invasive species.
  • Holding briefings on Great Lakes restoration, invasive species, ballast water technologies, viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), Great Lakes Navigational Operations and wind farm impact, among other topics important to the Great Lakes.

Reports, Data and Analysis, Great Lakes Congressional Reports

Great Lakes Congressional Reports

Great Lakes Environmental Summit

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2007

Water Infrastructure

Contact Information

Danielle Chesky
Director, Great Lakes Washington Program
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Map of Watershed

Map of the Great Lakes Watershed

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