House Approves $475M Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Great Lakes Restoration Advances in Congress

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (June 26)—The effort to restore the Great Lakes advanced in the U.S. Congress, as the House of Representatives today approved $475 million to fund a new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative first proposed in President Obama’s budget.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations yesterday approved $400 million for the initiative as part of its 2010 Interior and Environmental Protection Agency funding bill.

“We applaud the House of Representatives, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-Wis.),  Senate Interior Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and all our Great Lakes appropriators for advancing Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery,” said Chad Lord, policy director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “The urgent threats to our Lakes and our economy demand federal action. We are hopeful that with such strong support from Great Lakes members, the initiative will be fully funded at $475 million when the House and Senate reconcile their two bills.”

The House of Representatives vote was 254-173. For details on how each member voted, see: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll475.xml

The $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative strives to clean up contaminated sediments which threaten public health; prevent the introduction of invasive species which cost the region at least $200 million per year in damages and control costs; prevent run-off and other pollution responsible for beach closures; and restore habitat that is the foundation of the region’s multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreational economy.

The full Senate will take up the spending bill after the July 4 break, which begins tomorrow. Senate appropriations committee members from Great Lakes states include Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Arlen Specter (D-Penn.), and George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

U.S. representatives from Great Lakes states who serve on the appropriations committee include David Obey (D-Wisc.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), John Murtha (D-Penn.), Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio).

For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2009

Contact:
Jordan Lubetkin, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, 734-904-1589
Chad Lord, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, 202-454-3385

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