When you hear good news coming out of Washington these days, it’s cause for celebration. A news release from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition revealed that significant money in the 2012 federal budget bill supports the restoration of the Great Lakes.
“The 2012 budget represents a significant victory for the millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs and way of life,” said Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our
Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “This investment will help support programs that are delivering results in communities across the region.”
The news release states that the 2012 federal budget bill has passed both chambers of Congress and is waiting to be signed into law by President Obama. The budget provides $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to clean up toxic pollution, restore wildlife habitat, stop invasive species and reduce polluted run-off from farms and cities.”
The release went on to praise the members of Congress from the Great Lakes states who were instrumental in holding the line against cuts to Great Lakes programs, including appropriations committee members Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), and Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), and Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.).
What this means for communities
According to The Brookings Institution restoration activities generate at least $2 for every $1 investment. Economists at Grand Valley State University in Michigan concluded that a $10 million investment to restore Muskegon Lake in Michigan is generating more than $66 million return on investment through higher property values, increased tourism and an expanded tax base.
To read the entire news release go to http://www.healthylakes.org