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Upton urges support for bipartisan Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act

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Washington, December 10, 2019 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761) | comments

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) today delivered remarks on the House floor in support of his bipartisan legislation, the Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization (GLFRA) Act. The legislation is included as part of a broader bill aimed at preserving coastal communities and natural habitats, H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act.

The final vote will happen this evening.

The GLFRA Act was introduced to provide the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Great Lakes Science Center with funding to conduct critical monitoring, scientific assessments, and research of fisheries between the United States and Canada that lie within the Great Lakes Basin.

Click here or the image above to watch Upton’s remarks.

Full remarks:

“I thank Mr. Quigley who just spoke as the two of us are the bipartisan sponsors of the Great Lakes Fisheries Authorization Act. We are glad it's part of this package. And I rise in support, Madam Speaker, today, for this package of bills to help protect our coasts and the Great Lakes.

In the southwest there is a saying, don't mess with Texas. Well, as one that grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan there is an issue we have, too - don't mess with the Great Lakes.

This issue is deeply personal. It's one of great importance to the nation. Our Great Lakes hold 18% of the world's fresh water supply, covers some 9,000 miles of shoreline, and this helps generate over $7 billion a year in sport and commercial fishing Industry alone.

This bill would authorize the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center to conduct science and research activities to support fishery management decisions in the Great Lakes. Funds will be used to restore the loss of basic fishery science capabilities, accelerate the development of invasive species controls, and the restoration of native species and implement advanced autonomous and remote sensing technologies.

Current authorizations for the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center is confusing and funding is often piecemeal. In the past the funds have been diverted to other unrelated purposes and disrupted ongoing research. That's got to change.

With dedicated funding and clear authorization, the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center will be able to better ensure the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. This will help enhance our coastal resilience, restore fish habitat, and protect our important coastal economies. I support the legislation and yield back the balance of my time.”

 

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