WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the Great Lakes Mapping Act. This legislation would direct NOAA to conduct high-resolution mapping of the lakebeds of the Great Lakes. The bill would require the agency to complete the mapping project by 2030, and the information would be publicly available.

“Our Great Lakes generate 6 trillion to America’s GDP and support over 51 million jobs, yet we have barely scratched the surface of understanding the depths of the lakes,” said Rep. Lisa McClain. “Investing in comprehensive Great Lakes exploration will offer Michigan and the U.S. an enhanced look at what these bodies of water offer and bring forth a new chapter of success and prosperity to the Great Lakes economy and beyond.”

“In Michigan, the Great Lakes are a way of life, and their impact is felt across our country and beyond. Protecting these waters is personal to me and to so many who call the Heartland home,” Dingell said. “Comprehensively exploring and mapping the Great Lakes will strengthen our understanding of their underwater environment so that we can better protect them and the many species they contain and continue to foster the economic prosperity they have supported for generations.”

"The Great Lakes Observing System is pleased to be a leader in championing the Lakebed 2030 initiative: high resolution and comprehensive lakefloor mapping by 2030.", said Jennifer Boehme CEO of GLOS. “Fully exploring the world's largest freshwater lake system is imperative. This exploration aims to unveil the secrets of shipwrecks, ancient civilizations, and underwater ecosystems, as well as address national security concerns and the impacts of a changing climate."

The Great Lakes are one of America's most extensive and traversed economic forums, yet there is still so much to be discovered. By conducting advanced mapping of the lakebeds, we will be able to uncover new economic avenues, identify potential threats, and help protect one of our nation's greatest natural resources. There is an abundance of information to be discovered beneath the surface of our lakes, and this legislation will help Michigan and the nation reach the highest potential the Great Lakes have to offer.

To read the full legislation text, click here.