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Howard A. Learner

The House Appropriations Committee Should Increase Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding

On February 26, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.

I want to congratulate Congresswoman McCollum for now chairing this important Subcommittee and commend the Appropriations Committee and this Subcommittee for its strong bipartisan support for funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the past decade.

ELPC has worked for many years to protect the Great Lakes and were very engaged with many colleagues and public officials to establish the successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative before and then during the Obama administration. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is vitally important and successful. It is a model federal program providing great benefits, and it is working well. We believe the Appropriations Committee should provide continued annual funding for this program at least at the authorized level of $300 million. However,  the threat of climate change means now is the time for the Appropriations Committee to increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to $475 million annually. That was the funding level during FY 2010 for this successful program. The Great Lakes face increased challenges from harmful algae blooms in western Lake Erie, Green Bay, Lake Superior and other places, and the impacts of climate change realities are creating much more stress on Great Lakes infrastructure and the ecosystem.

Click here to download my full written testimony

or watch my full testimony below.

Howard A. Learner,

President and Executive Director, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Howard Learner is an experienced attorney serving as the President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. He is responsible for ELPC’s overall strategic leadership, policy direction, and financial platform.

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