House Approves Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act

Dec 9, 2014 Issues: Environment

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved legislation to formally authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  The measure was introduced last month by Representatives John Dingell (D-MI), David Joyce (R-OH), Sander Levin (D-MI) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY). 

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was created by the Obama Administration in 2010.  Over the last five years, Congress has provided more than $1.6 billion for the GLRI, which funds restoration efforts in the Lakes, including cleaning up toxic hotspots; fighting aquatic invasive species, like the Asian carp; restoring critical habitat; and addressing polluted runoff that contributes to beach closures and harmful algal blooms in the Lakes.

Formal authorization of the GLRI strengthens the program, provides for regular congressional oversight, and makes it more likely that future congresses will continue to fund the effort.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was created by the Obama Administration and, since 2010, Congress has wisely funded it,” said Rep. Sander Levin. “Now is the time for Congress to take the next step and formally authorize this vital program.  Congress must remain a full partner in the restoration effort in the Great Lakes, and authorizing this initiative is the best way to do that.”

The bill now moves to the United States Senate, which has just a few days left to consider the Great Lakes bill before the 113th Congress ends.

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