Slaughter Bill Authorizing Funding for Great Lakes Passes House
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Great Lakes Task Force, announced that the House of Representatives has passed bipartisan legislation she introduced with Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14), Rep. Sandy Levin (MI-09), and other colleagues to formally reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The legislation, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015, formally authorizes funding of GLRI at $300 million annually for the next five years and does not add any debt to the federal budget.
“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has helped improve Lake Ontario for Rochester, and it’s critically important that this program continues the work it has done to restore this and other bodies of water. The Great Lakes hold over 20 percent of all of the surface fresh water on the planet and over 26 million Americans in our region rely on them for commerce, transportation, drinking water, and recreation. I want to thank my colleagues for supporting my bill to keep the Great Lakes healthy and safe for generations to come,” said Slaughter.
The five Great Lakes contain one fifth of the world’s fresh water supply and GLRI is a group of programs that makes sure this environmental and economic treasure is protected.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015 would address invasive species problems, coordinate protection and restoration efforts, and bring together business and environmental organizations with a shared interest in the Great Lakes. The legislation is an action-oriented, results-driven initiative targeting the most significant problems within the basin, including cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern, preventing and controlling invasive species like Asian carp, reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful and nuisance algal blooms, and protecting and restoring habitat and wildlife.
As co-chair the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force, Slaughter as made advocating for policies and programs that restore and clean up the Great Lakes a priority. The task force works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes and the surrounding regions.