In a strong show of bipartisan support for Great Lakes restoration efforts, 38 Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed on to a letter urging colleagues to support $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
U.S. Reps. John Dingell (D-MI), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Sander Levin (D-MI) and David Joyce (R-OH) authored the letter, which will be sent to House appropriators.
The letter has also been signed by U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Gary Peters (D-MI), John Conyers (D-MI), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Thomas Petri (R-WI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Christopher Gibson (R-NY), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Dan Maffei (D-NY), Tim Walz (D-MN), Danny Davis (D-IL), Rick Nolan (D-MN), Bill Owens (D-NY), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chris Collins (R-NY) and Andre Carson (D-IN).
The strong show of bipartisan support is yet another sign that Great Lakes restoration continues to be an issue that unites public officials from both parties—as well it should. As the letter states:
[T]he Lakes have struggled with invasive species, toxic chemical contamination, habitat loss, and beach closures. We must do everything we can to protect the Great Lakes and combat these clear and present threats.
We urge you to support this vital investment in the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes.