There is a ray of light shining on the fate of the Great Lakes in the midst of dark gray gloom encircling Capitol Hill these days. While it appears we have a lame-duck Congress that is either refusing to work until February when the newly elected will join the scene or simply can’t work together; there are extremely important spending bills pending in both Houses.
The one we care most about is the omnibus water and lands bill that would provide protection for the Great Lakes and funding for restoration as well as other threatened great waters. The Great Lakes Environment Protection Act is bundled along with other waterway restoration bills and protection for wildlife and public lands, national parks and monuments into this legislative package. Lawmakers returned from the campaign trail to a very crowded agenda and it is far from assured that we can get this incredibly important bill in front of the right people.
“We’d love to try to do it,” Sen. Barabara Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said of the package to E&E, but she warned that even “one person can hold it up.”
We need every one of you to call your Senators (including the newly promoted Rep. Mark Kirk (R-ILL) and urge them to pass this legislation before the Christmas Holiday Break. This is vital to the restoration of the Great Lakes.