Coalition Applauds Congress for Improving Great Lakes Funding

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   March 14, 2008
Contact:   Jeff Skelding, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, 202-797-6893, jskelding@nwf.org
Tracey McIntire, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3311, tmcintire@npca.org
Jordan Lubetkin, National Wildlife Federation, 734-904-1589, lubetkin@nwf.org


Coalition Applauds Congress for Improving Great Lakes Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today praised the U.S. Senate for passing a budget that increases funding to essential Great Lakes programs to stop invasive species and restore fish and wildlife habitat.

“The U.S. Senate’s budget is a win for the Great Lakes and a win for the millions of people who depend on them for their jobs, health and way of life,” said Jeff Skelding, national campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We urge Congress to appropriate the money, because the longer we wait, the problems get worse and the solutions more costly.”

U.S. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) were instrumental in getting the increased funding and getting the budget resolution to reject President Bush’s 16 percent cut in Great Lakes funding and support vital lake programs.

All 16 Great Lakes Senators sent a letter to the Senate Budget Committee asking the Committee to reject the President’s cuts and make room in the Senate’s budget for Great Lakes funding.

“We applaud Sen. Stabenow, Sen. Feingold, and the entire Great Lakes Senate delegation for leading the effort to make sure the Senate’s budget rejects the President’s 16 percent cut in Great Lakes funding and instead recognizes that protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is a priority for the region and nation,” said Skelding. “The Great Lakes are an economic engine for America. Their health is tied to the health of our families and communities.”

The Senate’s budget targets $175 million dollars for Great Lakes programs, including those designed to clean up toxic pollution (Great Lakes Legacy Act), and restore fish and wildlife habitat (Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act and Great Lakes fishery and Ecosystem Restoration), a $77 million increase over the President's fiscal year 2009 budget request.

For similar programs, the Healing Our Waters Coalition requested a budget of $180 million.

“We look forward to working with the Senate to make sure that the money budgeted for these essential programs is appropriated,” said Skelding. “We have solutions to restore our Great Lakes, our economy, our drinking water and our way of life. It’s time that we use them.”

For more information, visit: http://www.healthylakes.org

Immediate Release: 
March 14, 2008

Contact:
Jeff Skelding, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, 202-797-6893, jskelding@nwf.org
Tracey McIntire, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3311, tmcintire@npca.org
Jordan Lubetkin, National Wildlife Federation, 734-904-1589, lubetkin@nwf.org


 

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