Action on the $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior and Environment is expected to begin work on its appropriations bill next week.
In collaboration with other regional partners, the Great Lakes Commission continues to work with Congress to support full funding for the Initiative. The Commission worked closely with committee staff to address issues concerning implementation of the initiative and ensuring that long range planning for Great Lakes protection and restoration continues to be grounded in strong science. On Tuesday, June 9, a coalition of 15 Great Lakes organizations submitted a letter to Great Lakes Senators requesting support for the President’s $475 million proposal. On June 2, a briefing on the initiative was held with congressional staff in Washington, D.C. Presenters included Todd Ambs, administrator for water at Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources; Joy Mulinex, director of the Great Lakes Congressional Task Force; Chad Lord policy director for the Healing Our Waters®-Great Lakes Coalition; Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission and Gary Gulezian, director of the U.S.EPA Great Lakes National Program Office. The briefing provided an opportunity to answer questions, engage Congress in supporting the initiative, and emphasize that the region is united and ready for implementation. Materials from the briefing, including a fact sheet and answers to frequently asked questions on the restoration initiative, are available at www.glc.org/advocacy.
On June 3, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the proposed U.S.EPA budget. Witness testimony was provided by Michael Shapiro, acting assistant administrator, U.S. EPA Office of Water. Details on the hearing including testimony are available on the committee website.
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On the heels of the Administration’s announcement that Cameron Davis will serve as a special advisor to the U.S. EPA to oversee the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment this week approved the full $475 million requested for the Initiative. Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (WI) and Representative Steve LaTourette (OH), member of the Subcommittee, were especially helpful. The bill now moves to the full committee next week and may be considered by the full House of Representatives before the end of the month.
Contact: Tim Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org.