Holland Sentinel: Peters, Stabenow push to secure Great Lakes conservation funding
WASHINGTON — Michigan’s U.S. senators led a bipartisan effort to urge the Trump administration to allocate at least $320 million to help restore the Great Lakes.
Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, pushed for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the fiscal year 2021.
In a letter to the heads of the Office of Management and Budget and the Environmental Protection Agency, Peters, Stabenow and a bipartisan group of senators highlighted the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s core mission of preserving the health of the Lakes, which many consider a critical economic driver.
The group said the funding for the five lakes — the largest fresh drinking water source in the world — helps to combat invasive species, decrease pollution and remediate contaminated areas.
“Now is not the time to scale back our nation’s commitment to restore the Great Lakes environment and economy,” the senators wrote. “Because of the partnership we have with federal agencies, our region is making progress and seeing results.
“The GLRI is a locally driven restoration effort and its success depends on the collaboration between all levels of government and with industrial, commercial, and non-governmental partners. We ask that you provide no less than the FY 2020 appropriated amount of $320 million for the GLRI in next year’s budget request.”
Peters and Stabenow, who co-chairs the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, have led numerous efforts in Congress to preserve the Lakes.
While it was once under threat of being cut completely, fiscal year 2020 saw the largest ever increase in funding for the GLRI. The program’s funding has been in flux since Stabenow authored it in 2010, and has been successful in cleaning up lakes, waterways and beaches across the state.
“The love of the Great Lakes is something in every Michigander’s DNA,” Peters said. “We still believe the demands are great, and we want to make sure the administration understands the importance of (this funding). It’s been an incredibly successful program all across the state.”
Peters and Stabenow were joined by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Todd Young, R-Ind.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Mike Braun, R-Ind.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Tina Smith, D-Minn.; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
Source: Holland Sentinel
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