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Upton continues fight to protect the Great Lakes

Announces he cosponsored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Reauthorization Act and the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Act

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Washington, July 25, 2019 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today signed on as an original cosponsor for two bipartisan bills designed to protect the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Act - introduced by Rep. John Katko (R-NY) and Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY) – would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, which would assess threats and resiliency measures for coastal communities. 

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Reauthorization Act – introduced by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) - would reauthorize the GLRI for another five years when it expires at the end of FY2021. Under this legislation, the authorization for GLRI would be increased to $375 million in FY2022.  It would then ramp up by $25 million annually over the next four years, culminating at $475 million in FY2026.

“Protecting our Great Lakes has always been and will always be one of my top priorities in Congress,” Upton said. “Bordering Lake Michigan, we simply have one of the most beautiful districts in the country. And the entire Great Lakes region is a national treasure. It is so important to ensure our 5,200-mile coastline is protected because of the four million people who call the coastline home, the 60 commercial harbors that create incredible economic activity, and the billions of dollars generated from tourism. The Great Lakes Resiliency Study will provide a clear road map for our efforts to protect the Great Lakes moving forward, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act would provide critical funding to maintain our beaches, shorelines and natural waters, improve water quality, fight invasive species, and restore the ecosystem.”

Specifically, the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study would identify areas vulnerable to severe storms and recommend particular measures to bolster the coastline’s ability to withstand, recover from, and adapt to future lake level conditions and increased storm severity.  

Despite supportive language in previous appropriation bills, the study has yet to be included in the annual work plan for the USACE.  Upton and his colleagues have sent previous letters advocating for funding for the GLCRS.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative received funding from Congress for the first time in FY2010 for $475 million. In each subsequent fiscal year, Congress appropriated $300 million for the program.

 

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