Landmark Great Lakes Bill Needs More Senate Support

In March, the U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) introduced the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act of 2010 (S. 3073). The bill that would authorize programs to fight invasive species, clean up toxic hot spots and address restoration priorities has six additional co-sponsors. Today, the bill still has only six co-sponsors – there are 16 Great Lakes Senators – so where are the final ten?

This bill is a win-win for Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery, making it unbelievable that there are still some U.S. Senators from the eight Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that haven’t jumped at the chance to support this legislation.

The legislation will authorize, in one bill, successful Great Lakes programs that Congress has supported in the past, such as the Great Lakes Legacy Act, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes National Program Office at the EPA. Shockingly, even U.S. Senators that have supported the Great lakes Collaboration Implementation Act (GLCIA) in the past have yet to sign their names to this legislation. Still, that is the case, which means that we need you to contact your Senators and make sure they are on board.

So far, in addition to Michigan Sen. Levin, the bill has support from Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). Former Senate GLCIA sponsors that have yet to sign on include Senators Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Arlene Specter (D-Penn.).

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