A news conference was held outside the Shedd Aquarium Tuesday morning to illustrate the need to protect the lakes.
Members of the group emphasized how the lakes help boost tourism and provide jobs.
Next week, a bill will go before the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.
There is bipartisan support for the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act of 2010 with eight co-sponsors.
Environment Illinois is emphasizing the importance of getting that legislation passed.
"This is not about spending money, this about investing and getting a return, and the return is greater than the investment," said Max Muller of Environment Illinois. "These things really pay off."
The organization named the Great Lakes as "One of America's Great Waters."
The group is concerned about the environmental threats endangering the lakes.