Senators Kirk and Levin Urge Continued Support of the Great Lakes, Outline Key Priorities

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 26, 2012. 

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The Great Lakes waterway system provides drinking water to 30 million Americans

 U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), co-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, today sent letters signed by fellow Great Lakes Senators to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of key Appropriations Subcommittees urging their continued support for Great Lakes initiatives through fiscal year 2013. Co-chairs Kirk and Levin’s priorities include:

  • Support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Fish and Wildlife Services’ Great Lakes Restoration, programs which develop solutions to address invasive species, contamination and pollution and encourage inter-agency cooperative conservation and management for the habitats in the Great Lakes Basin;
  • Continued support for the Army Corps of Engineers’ emergency authority to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by any hydrological connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin;
  • Support for the International Joint Commission, which monitors and supports transboundary environmental needs of the Great Lakes between the U.S. and Canada, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which works to prevent the spread of the aggressive, invasive species sea lamprey; and
  • Support for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Zone Management Program, which gives states grant opportunities to work with the Federal government to preserve, protect and restore coastal zone areas across the nation, including the Great Lakes region. 

“There have been great strides in the last few years to enhance the restoration of natural habitat, reduce pollution and combat invasive species, but it is clear that we still have a long way to go,” a spokesperson for Senator Kirk said. “Senator Kirk looks forward to working with his colleagues to achieve these shared, mutually-beneficial goals to ensure the long-term health of the Great Lakes region.”

“The Great Lakes are a driver of the nation’s economy, and they provide drinking water to millions of Americans,” Senator Levin said. “We are stewards of these jewels, and that’s why it is so important that we support efforts to prevent damage from invasive species, to preserve fisheries and other important habitats, and to restore and preserve the world’s most important source of fresh water.”

 

Source: kirk.senate.gov