Great Lakes Commission urges full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The Commission has urged Congressional appropriators to support full funding of $475 million for President Obama’s proposed Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The House has provided the President’s full request in its appropriations bill for U.S. EPA, while the Senate has provided $400 million. In correspondence sent today, Commission Chair Pat Quinn asked House and Senate appropriations leaders to adopt full funding for the GLRI, as provided in the House bill, when they resolve differences between the two chambers. Chairman Quinn noted that the GLRI will implement an existing restoration plan that reflects the priorities of the Great Lakes governors, and emphasized the high level of enthusiasm for the Initiative among the states and other partners. After pointing out that the states have identified high-priority restoration actions that are ready to be implemented immediately, he concluded by saying “the Great Lakes region is well organized and prepared to target the full $475 million to the most urgent problems facing the Great Lakes.”
Regional organizations united in support for GLRI funding
In a related effort, the Commission joined 14 other regional Great Lakes agencies and organizations to urge Congressional appropriators to provide full funding for the GLRI. The joint letter, representing Great Lakes states, tribes, business and industry, environmental and conservation organizations, stated “We stand united in our strong support for the GLRI and view its full funding as a significant regional priority.” In addition to the Commission, the letter was co-signed by the Alliance for the Great Lakes; Council of Great Lakes Industries; Great Lakes United; National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Regional Center; Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority; Council of Lake Committees; Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition; Natural Resources Defense Council, Midwest Regional Office; Council of Great Lakes Fishery Agencies; Ducks Unlimited, Great Lakes/Atlantic Region; Great Lakes Metropolitan Chambers Coalition; National Parks Conservation Association, Midwest Region; and the Michigan office of the Nature Conservancy.
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