Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), the longest serving woman in the United States Congress and Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, today announced $28,600,000 in federal funds to expand conservation efforts across the Great Lakes region and improve the health of communities along Lake Erie.
The federal funds will be administered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for projects that will prevent the spread of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie, reduce the invasive Asian Carp population, and research the health effects from exposure to HABs and cyanobacteria toxins in deadly algal blooms.
“I thank members of both parties who worked together to get these funds included in H.J.Res. 31,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Not only does this strong, bipartisan legislation fully fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, it also takes concrete steps to reign in the spread of deadly algal blooms and the invasive Asian carp population across the Great Lakes. The negative economic and environmental impact these species have on Lake Erie and its coastal communities cannot be overstated. I look forward to the good this funding will achieve for Lake Erie and our entire region.”
Asian carp represent a serious economic and environmental threat to the Great Lakes. If this annual plight is not contained it will devastate our $7 billion fishing industry and equally important tourism industry. Harmful Algal blooms are a particularly dangerous problem for Western Lake Erie and the entire region. In 2014, a Harmful Algal Bloom caused a drinking water crisis in Toledo, Ohio which impacted more than 400,000 residents. The algal bloom lasted for three days after elevated concentrations of microcystins from the annually recurrent cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Erie were detected in the municipal water system.
Rep. Kaptur has actively pursued improved federal responses to harmful algal blooms and Asian carp. She currently serves as co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force in the House of Representatives and represents a large portion of coastal Ohio along Lake Erie, the Great Lakes’ largest fishery.
Great Lakes provisions included in H.J.Res. 31
- USGS: $8.4 million for research on containing and eradicating Asian carp from the Great Lakes
- USFWS: $11 million for Asian carp deterrence controls and contract fishing
- EPA: $5 million for research grants promoting scientific progress towards preventing and controlling HABs
- NOAA: $5 million for coastal science and assessment of HABs
Additional Background on H.J.Res. 31:
- Fully funds the government through the end of the fiscal year.
- Rejects the President’s demand for $5.7 billion for his wall by providing $1.375 billion for physical barriers with language specifying that new fencing is limited to currently deployed designs and specified locations – ruling out the President’s border wall proposal.
- Provides a path to reduce ICE detention beds and includes new biannual inspections of detention facilities, which will check the Trump Administration’s out-of-control deportation policy.
- Funds a more humane immigration system and makes key investments in national security.
- Delivers a 1.9 percent pay raise to federal workers and invests $3.8 billion in the Census.
- Builds safer communities with more than $3 billion for state and local law enforcement, including by addressing the opioid crisis and closing sexual assault kit backlogs.
- Rebuilds America’s infrastructure with $17 billion in funding for new infrastructure investments to improve our roads, bridges, highways, railways and mass transit.
- Supports small businesses by restoring and increasing investments in job-creating initiatives for economic and business development, including for minority and women-owned businesses, which the Trump Administration tried to eliminate or slash.
- Rejects the Trump Administration’s attacks on the environment by blocking deep cuts to initiatives to protect clean water, clean air and public lands and investing a total of $9.3 billion in the EPA and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.