Coalition Advocates for Strong, Revised Plan
While cuts loom from the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. EPA is focused on continuing the success of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and has just embarked on revising its Great Lakes Action Plan. This plan is the blueprint for federal restoration efforts that will guide Great Lakes restoration funding priorities for the next five years in the eight-state region. An effective Action Plan has led to the successes seen already in the region, and, with proper funding, the new iteration of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan can further improve the health of the Great Lakes.
The Coalition recently submitted comments on the plan. Read them at: http://bit.ly/15Fjzif
Among the Coalition’s recommendations:
- Increase science, monitoring and assessment into restoration efforts so that activities can be adjusted and targeted to ensure these efforts are as efficient and effective as possible;
- Integrate climate change into the plan to strengthen the resiliency of the Great Lakes so they can adapt to a warming climate; and,
- Ensure that bad federal policies (such as inadequate federal permit that fails to stop ballast water invaders and weak guidance that leaves the door open to wetland destruction, ) do not undermine current restoration efforts.
“Climate change will exacerbate many of the threats facing the Lakes, from sewage overflows to farm run-off,” said Melinda Koslow, regional program manager at the National Wildlife Federation. “Future restoration efforts need to incorporate climate change to help the Lakes adapt to a warming world.”
Future restoration efforts, according to the Coalition, hinge on both a strong plan and funding to implement it.