Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition
Press Release

Coalition to Testify in Support of Great Lakes Bills

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Policy Director Chad Lord is testifying today before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife.

By - Jul 16th, 2014 08:58 am

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Policy Director Chad Lord is testifying today before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife in support of bills that will bolster Great Lakes restoration and protection efforts.

Read his testimony at: http://bit.ly/1roGsm4

“These bills are good for the Great Lakes and the millions of people who depend on them,” said Lord. “The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act is especially important because it would provide the long-lasting authority necessary to ensure that resources will continue to be available to protect and restore the magnificent jewels that are our Great Lakes.  The bill provides critical framework for future efforts to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing the Lakes—from cleaning up contaminated sediments to toxic pollution to invasive species.”

At the hearing, slated to begin at 3 p.m., Lord will express strong support for the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act (S. 1232), which will authorize effective federal restoration programs, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Great Lakes Legacy Act—programs that are working to clean up toxic pollution, combat invasive species, restore fish and wildlife habitat and reduce runoff from cities and farms. The bill authorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $475 million annually, and boosts the authorization of the Great Lakes Legacy Act to $150 million.

This bill builds on the tremendous successes that have come from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  Now in its fifth year, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has generated $1.6 billion in federal resources for everything from contaminated sediment removal to wetland restoration and habitat improvements across the eight-state Great Lakes region. Read Great Lakes restoration success stories from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York at: http://healthylakes.org/successes/restoration-success-stories/

Lord will also note the Coalition’s support for the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act (S. 1153), which helps the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to better assess potential risks from non-native species proposed for importation into the country, before deciding whether to allow or prohibit its trade in the country.

Finally, Lord will also note that many Coalition members support the Great Lakes Protection Act (S. 571), which provides incentives to curb sewage overflows in the region. Sewage overflows are a chronic problem.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 115 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.healthylakes.org Follow us on twitter @healthylakes.

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