Advocacy for Nonpoint
Source Programs in 2008
The time to act is now! Congress will make initial funding decisions
for most major Great Lakes programs by spring 2008. The first three
months of the year are a critical window of opportunity to advocate
for federal programs that support soil conservation. Soil conservation
districts and stakeholder groups are uniquely positioned to communicate
funding needs to Congress. National leaders in Washington,
D.C. value and respect your input but they must hear from you! Make
your voices heard for restoring and protecting the Great Lakes!
Lakes Commission Congressional Priorities for
2009 - Nonpoint Source Programs (PDF)
Strategies and Timeline for Congressional Advocacy
Step 1: Write to your
Congressional Representatives (February-March) Letters from
soil conservation districts and stakeholder groups are important for
conveying local support for nonpoint source funding.
- Modify the Sample Letters
(personalize as much as possible) and send to your Senators, your
local Representative, and the to members of the Senate and House Appropriation
Committees (see below for Contact Information).
- If your organization
has received support or otherwise benefited
from a specific program, mention what was accomplished. Alternatively,
mention what you could do if you were to
- You can also include
a program Fact Sheet with your letter:
- In addition to mailing your letter, FAX a copy of your letter and
program Fact Sheet. Faxes are faster and do not go through the radiation
security machines for DC Congressional offices.
- Urge others in your community to also write letters, including mayors,
Chambers of Commerce, and community groups.
Step 2: Meet with
your Congressional representatives during upcoming Congressional District
Work Periods (March 17-28, May 24-31, and August 11-September 5)
Request in-person meetings
with your Congressional representatives during these district work
periods to discuss conservation efforts in your area and highlight
the need for continued federal funding for nonpoint source programs.
Step 3: Arrange tours
of your conservation districts/projects for your Congressional representatives
District work periods and
the August recess are good times to take Congressional representatives
on tours of your projects. Point out areas where nonpoint source program
work is under way.
Information for your Members of Congress
Congressional and Executive Budget Process
The congressional budget timetable
sets April 15 as a target date for completion of the annual budget resolution.
However, Congress usually does not meet this deadline. For more information
on the budget process, see: