‘This bill will strengthen federal Great Lakes restoration efforts’
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (July 22, 2013) – The Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition is supporting a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would help bolster federal efforts to restore the Great Lakes, the source of 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water which provides drinking water to more than 30 million people. The legislation would authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million annually to fund successful programs to clean up toxic pollution, combat invasive species, restore fish and wildlife habitat and reduce runoff from cities and farms.
The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act of 2013 is being introduced today by U.S. Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) with Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Candace Miller (R-Mich.), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).
The U.S. Senate introduced similar legislation in late June.
Commenting on the new legislation, Todd Ambs, director for the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, said:
“This bill strengthens federal Great Lakes restoration efforts. Programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are producing results in communities across the region, but more needs to be done. We commend Reps. Joyce, Dingell, Levin, Petri and Slaughter for putting forward a bill that will help keep federal restoration efforts on track. We urge the full U.S. House to support and pass this bill.”
The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act of 2013:
- Authorizes for five years the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million annually;
- Re-authorizes the Great Lakes Legacy Act that helps communities clean up toxic hotspots;
- Re-authorizes the EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office, which oversees federal restoration efforts;
- Authorizes the Great Lakes Advisory Board, which will recommend restoration priorities that federal agencies use when setting their budgets each year;
- Authorizes the federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force to increase coordination between federal agencies, as well as coordination between federal agencies and non-federal stakeholders.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 120 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. For more information visit http://www.dev-healthy-lakes.pantheon.io Follow us on twitter @healthylakes.