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Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron are integral pieces of the First District, accounting for far more of the district’s borders than Wisconsin and the rest of Michigan combined. Except for a tiny sliver of the Upper Peninsula near Watersmeet, on the border of Wisconsin, the entirety of the First District is within the Great Lakes Watershed as mapped by the USGS. 


Such a close relationship with these waters brings great benefits in terms of access, but also comes with a great responsibility. Lake Superior alone holds ~10% of the world’s surface fresh water - and we, along with other residents of its watershed around the lake, are caretakers of its continued cleanliness. 


As your Representative in Congress, Dana will work together with the district’s state-level representatives to ensure that our Great Lakes are left in a better condition than we found them. He wants you to know that he is here to ensure that our children, and our childrens’ children, can continue to enjoy the same beautiful water that brings us so much joy - and so much snow.



Fresh water is the most precious resource in the world. The Great Lakes hold 22% of the Earth's fresh water. It's important to our life, culture, economy and way of life.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade chemicals that have been used in a variety of industrial procedures for around 80 years. Now, these chemicals are present in the environment and in the human body. They transfer to people through drinking water, food grown using PFAS-contaminated soil and water, commercial household products and in production facilities that use PFAS. 


Scientific evidence now shows that there are potential adverse health impacts associated with PFAS. These include liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and cancer. We still don’t have a clear picture of all the health-related issues that can result from PFAS contamination. More research is needed in this area going forward.


Because of their widespread use, PFAS can easily spread into our waterways, including the Great Lakes. These hazardous chemicals pose a serious health risk to citizens of Michigan and the United States. We must take action by limiting the use of PFAS and cleaning up contaminated sites to help limit exposure. 


Dana would have supported the passage of H.R. 535, a bill introduced by Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to designate PFAS substances as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980. 


This bill ensures that there are direct federal resources available to follow through on the necessarily clean up. This bill passed in the House of Representatives with Bipartisan support, but Dana’s opponent voted no. Michigan is at ground zero in this fight, and the First District needs a representative who is a driving force in this clean up effort. Real, meaningful solutions can protect our environment and the most vulnerable members of our populations from PFAS for generations to come.


The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) enhanced pipeline safety. Bills introduced by Senator Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow include rules requiring stricter inspection standards for hazardous liquid pipelines like Line 5. New provisions provide for emergency authority for PHMSA to take action to address unsafe pipeline conditions that risk harming public health and safety or the environment. 

Dana Ferguson supports provisions in the PIPES Act to designate the Great Lakes as a high consequence area, which makes pipelines operating in the area subject to higher standards for operating safely. Dana supports outside oversight and comprehensive evaluation of new and old pipelines.



Dana supports continued funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). It’s an initiative that will  leave the Great Lakes better for the next generation.

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The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative accelerates efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world – the Great Lakes. Built upon the foundation of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, GLRI answered a challenge of the governors of the Great Lakes states. Since 2010 the multi-agency GLRI has provided funding to 16 federal organizations to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward achieving long term goals:


  • Fish safe to eat

  • Water safe for recreation

  • Safe source of drinking water

  • All Areas of Concern delisted

  • Harmful/nuisance algal blooms eliminated

  • No new self-sustaining invasive species

  • Existing invasive species controlled

  • Native habitat protected and restored to sustain native species


Dana supports continued funding for GLRI Action Plan III, which was developed with input from states, tribes, local governments, universities, business and others. It outlines priorities and goals for the GLRI for fiscal years 2020-2024, working to accelerate environmental progress in five Focus Areas:

  • Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern

  • Invasive Species

  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Impacts on Nearshore Health

  • Habitats and Species

  • Foundations for Future Restoration Actions

Dana will fight for all these initiatives.


For the past two centuries, the Great Lakes have been affected by the introduction of invasive species and plants. These are plants and animals that are not native to an ecosystem. These species can have effects on the health of the ecosystem, and can deplete the well-being of the communities and economies that depend on the Great Lakes. 


Since the 1800s, at least 25 invasive species and plants have entered the Great Lakes, including sea lamprey, Asian carp and curly pondweed. These have been introduced to the ecosystem primarily by ships transporting cargo into the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean through the Soo Locks. The ballast water tanks on these ships carry these species in and they are introduced when they discharge water. 


There are some regulations that work to eliminate this problem, but Dana believes we need to go further. Dana supports more effective regulations that would help limit the possibility for invasive species to enter our ecosystems. In Michigan and the surrounding Great Lakes states, resources must also be allocated for programs that seek to eliminate invasive species already in our waters. By cleaning up our waterways and minimizing the risk of further introduction of invasive species, we can create a healthier ecosystem.



Flint’s drinking water crisis was a transformative tragedy for Michigan. We can’t afford it to happen again. Dana believes it’s essential for the EPA, who has been responding to contamination since 2016, to have oversight over drinking water quality – not retrospectively, but proactively. 


Lead poisoning is also a serious concern and the result of rusted and outdated underground infrastructure. Dana will prioritize federal funding of water and sewage pipes across the district to prevent the poisoning of 1st District families. He will ensure funding for the EPA, stay engaged with Michigan’s EGLE and make the safety of 1st District families a priority. 


The corporate exploitation of drained water from the Great Lakes to meet the demand of bottled water needs to be better regulated. It has potentially catastrophic effects on the ecology of groundwater throughout the state and the Midwest. 


Legislation from 2008 was ratified by all eight Great Lakes States, approved by both houses of Congress, and signed by President Bush to create a standardized set of tools and protocols for the management of Great Lakes water. The ‘Great Lakes Compact’ banned all water withdrawals by municipalities located outside the Great Lakes basin, and it restricted withdrawals that have a measurable negative impact on a surrounding watershed. This legislation is a step in the right direction, but it needs to be clarified and enforced. Dana will work in Congress to protect watersheds from corporate exploitation. 




Multiple sections of shoreline in the 1st District are being washed away due to record high water levels and strong storms. Being surrounded by the Great Lakes, shoreline erosion is a major issue. 


We experience fluctuating water levels in the Great Lakes, but never to the extreme of the last several years. Climate Change does play a role in what we are seeing today. Our actions should be less reactive and more proactive. 


Dana will work to ensure municipalities have access to federal funding and grants. He believes it’s important we address damage, but this isn't just about aesthetics. In addition to the visible consequences, there are so many other environmentally impactful consequences  that we are not always aware of. 


We are on the front lines of climate change. We need to prepare, mitigate, and adapt. Dana hopes to continue infrastructure investments in communities through the Federal funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the EPA, and the Army Corps of Engineers.



Michigan’s First District is a place of true natural and historical importance to our country. The district contains five of Michigan’s seven National Park units, including the state’s only National Park. It also contains all or part of four National Forests, four National Wildlife Refuges, one National Wildlife Management Area, 13 federally-recognized Wilderness areas, 


In addition, the First District contains dozens of State-level parks, forests, and historic sites. Truly, Michigan’s abundance of natural and cultural wonders are well-represented in our district.


As a member of Congress, Dana will hold protection and growth of our National Parks and other protected lands as a priority, including exploring potential new Parks as they are proposed. He will also fight for State Park funding on a federal level, as 17% of Michigan’s DNR budget comes from federal sources.


A list of the federal-level protected sites in Michigan’s 1st District can be found below - all of them are well worth a visit!


National Parks Units:

  • Isle Royale National Park

  • Keweenaw National Historical Park

  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

  • North Country National Scenic Trail (part of)


National Forests:

  • Ottawa National Forest

  • Hiawatha National Forest

  • Huron-Manistee National Forests (part of) 


National Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Management Areas:


Wilderness Areas (mostly parts of above areas):

  • Isle Royale Wilderness

  • Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness

  • McCormick Wilderness

  • Sylvania Wilderness

  • Huron Islands Wilderness

  • Rock River Canyon Wilderness

  • Beaver Basin Wilderness

  • Big Island Lake Wilderness

  • Delirium Wilderness

  • Mackinac Wilderness

  • Horseshoe Bay Wilderness

  • Round Island Wilderness

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness


National Historic Landmarks

  • Calumet National Historic Landmark District

  • Quincy Mining Company National Historic Landmark District

  • St. Mary’s Falls Canal (Soo Locks) National Historic Landmark

  • St. Ignace Mission National Historic Landmark

  • Fort Michilimackinac National Historic Landmark

  • Bay View National Historic Landmark District

  • Ernest Hemingway Cottage National Historic Landmark

  • North Manitou Island Lifesaving Station National Historic Landmark

  • SS City of Milwaukee National Historic Landmark

  • Grand Hotel National Historic Landmark

  • Mackinac Island National Historic Landmark

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