The US Senators on the Great Lakes Task Force need colleagues to sign onto a series of letters supporting $475 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by Thursday afternoon (that is tomorrow!).
Multiple letters requesting funds for specific programs are being sent to each committee with jurisdiction over the GLRI or involved federal agencies. For example, the minority and majority chairs of the Commerce, Science, Justice and Related Agencies will get a letter from the Task Force asking for full funding of a NOAH program that is part of the GLRI. If each committee provides funding at FY2010 levels then we can raise the appropriation to $475 million. It is a good strategy but we need all the Great Lakes US Senators to sign onto these letters to show our regional unity on this issue.
The letters will be delivered to the Agriculture, Environment and Public Works, Interior, Commerce, Science, Justice and Related Agencies, and State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs committees. So far, Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and George Voinovich (R-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are the only signatures. We need you to contact your Great Lakes Senator and ask that s/he sign on by tomorrow by calling Joy Mulinex in Levin’s office.
By consistently funding the GLRI at the original rate of $475 million we can keep up with the threats facing the lakes, make up for years of inadequate investment, fulfill the President’s promise to deliver $5 billion over five years and ensure the GLRI’s long-term success.