Sending Office: Honorable Debbie Dingell
Sent By:
Kevin.Rambosk@mail.house.gov

SUPPORT THE GREAT LAKES

FY2020 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

This is a Programmatic Request.

Electronic Submission Instructions will be Provided.

Deadline: Monday, March 25 COB

Current Signers: Bill Huizenga, Bob Gibbs, Anthony Gonzalez, Thomas R. Suozzi, Robin L. Kelly, Gwen Moore, Sean Casten,
John Katko, Bill Foster, Jackie Walorski, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Brian Higgins,
Robert E. Latta, Danny K. Davis, Ron Kind, Chris Collins, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann McLane Kuster, Marcia L. Fudge,
Jim Sensenbrenner, Elise M. Stefani
k, Paul D. Tonko,
Bill Johnson, Jan Schokowsky, Tim Walberg, Joyce Beatty, Michael R. Turner,
Linda T. Sánchez, Fred Upton, Ilhan Omar, Raúl M. Grijalva, Eliot L. Engel, Antonio Delgado, Daniel W. Lipinski,
Paul Mitchell, Brad Schneider, Sheila Jackson Lee, Haley Stevens, Andy Levin, Dean Phillips,
Troy Balderson, Darin LaHood, Angie Craig, Jack Bergman

 

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join our bipartisan letter to Chairwoman McCollum and Ranking Member Joyce urging them to provide at least $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.

The GLRI is an inter-agency program designed to address the most significant problems in the Great Lakes, and works to protect, restore, and maintain the Great Lakes ecosystem. The Great Lakes are the source of drinking water for 40 million people, and hold
90 percent of our nation’s supply of fresh water. Jobs, recreation, and tourism all depend upon a healthy and flourishing Great Lakes ecosystem. Yet invasive species, toxic pollution, growing dead zones, and beach closures threaten the health and productivity
of these irreplaceable bodies of water.

Please join us in requesting at least $300 million for GLRI in FY 2020. The GLRI has traditionally enjoyed strong bipartisan support among the Great Lakes delegation and local stakeholders, and we hope you will consider supporting this important initiative.
If you have any questions or would like to sign on, please contact Kevin Rambosk with Rep. Dingell (kevin.rambosk@mail.house.gov) or Kevin Dawson with Rep. Kelly (kevin.dawson@mail.house.gov),
Jordan Dickinson with Rep. Kildee (jordan.dickinson@mail.house.gov), or Maggie Woodin with Rep. Gallagher (maggie.woodin@mail.house.gov).

 

Sincerely,

 

Debbie Dingell                Mike Kelly                    Daniel T. Kildee            Mike Gallagher

Member of Congress     Member of Congress     Member of Congress     Member of Congress

 

March XX, 2019

 

Honorable Betty McCollum                                       Honorable David P. Joyce

Chair                                                                           Ranking Member

Appropriations Subcommittee on                               Appropriations Subcommittee on

Interior, Environment and Related Agencies             Interior, Environment and Related Agencies

2007 Rayburn Building                                              1016 Longworth Building

Washington, D.C. 20515                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairwoman McCollum and Ranking Member Joyce:

We write to respectfully request that you provide at least $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

The Great Lakes are truly a national treasure.  They are the largest surface freshwater system in the world, holding nearly 21 percent of the world’s fresh water supply and 90 percent of the United States’ fresh water supply.  The Lakes are an economic driver
that supports jobs, commerce, agriculture, transportation, and tourism for millions of people across the country.  A new report last fall showed that for every GLRI dollar spent through 2016 in cleaning up toxic hot spots in Areas of Concern (AOC), controlling
invasive species, restoring wildlife habitat, protecting wetlands, and reducing harmful algae will produce more than $3 in additional economic activity through 2036.[1]

In addition to measurable economic results, the GLRI is producing significant environmental results for our region.  Three AOCs have been delisted under the GLRI and all cleanup actions for eight more are complete.  The number of beneficial use impairments,
which are benchmarks for environmental harm in AOCs, that were removed increased more than six times under the GLRI.  Nearly 5,000 river miles have been cleared of dams and other barriers reconnecting fish to important habitat.

Even with the results from over 4,700 projects, there is still much work to do. 
Nineteen AOCs are still contaminated with toxic sediment, stunting the development and threatening the health of too many Great Lakes communities.  Runoff from sources including farm fields, septic systems, and other sources continue to pollute our waters
causing increasingly larger toxic algae outbreaks each year that threatens water systems, public health, and economic vitality.  Habitat loss and aquatic invasive species continue to damage our region’s outdoor way of life.  

The federal government must continue to partner with our region to address the challenges the Great Lakes face.  GLRI resources have supplemented agency budgets and funded coordinated efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes ecosystem.  We must ensure
this work continues.  Halting or reducing this commitment would reverse years of progress, dramatically reducing the GLRI’s impact, and jeopardize the environmental and economic health of the region for generations to come.

To that end, we urge you to continue this vial investment in the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes by including at least $300 million for the GLRI in the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

                                                   

Sincerely,

 

______________________

DEBBIE DINGELL             

Member of Congress         

____________________

MIKE KELLY

Member of Congress

____________________

DANIEL T. KILDEE

Member of Congress

______________________

MIKE GALLAGHER        

Member of Congress          

 


[1] University of Michigan. 2018. “Socioeconomic Impacts of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.” Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics.

 

 

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