Monday, December 10, 2012

Great Lakes Senators Urge $300 Million For GLRI

Dec 7: Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), and six other Great Lakes state senators, wrote to acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients calling for robust funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in the President's 2014 budget request. The Senators said, "Cleaning up and protecting the Great Lakes is not just about being good stewards of the environment; these investments are directly tied to the health of the economy." They urged the President to request no less than $300 million for the GLRI in his 2014 budget.
    The letter points out that, ". . . the GLRI is cleaning up toxics at Areas of Concern where industrial pollution continues to threaten public health, contaminate fish and wildlife, and make waterfronts unusable to lakefront communities resulting in lost revenues to local governments and sources of income for businesses. The GLRI is also working to prevent destructive invasive species such as the voracious Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and destroying its $7 billion fishery. The program also works to protect wetlands and watersheds from polluted runoff which can lead to algae blooms resulting in beach closures, fish kills, and public health problems."

    In addition to Senator Levin, co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, the letter was signed by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Sherrod Brown (D-OH); Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY); and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN).

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