The following is a press release from Congressman Steve Kagen:
Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is working hard to clean up our Great Lakes while stimulating our economy. Kagen joined his colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner urging them to provide $194 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Act, $10 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $140 million for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act in the January stimulus package.
“This funding will create new jobs and ensure that the Great Lakes will continue to be enjoyed by future generations,” said Kagen. “Northeast Wisconsin’s harbors, rivers and tributaries are extremely important to our economic and environmental well-being. We need the Great Lakes and I am taking steps to ensure their continued health and prosperity.”
The letter states, “As representatives of Great Lake states, we strongly urge that as you move forward with an economic recovery package for our nation you include funding that will put people back to work by restoring and protecting one of our most important natural resources – the Great Lakes. These investments will put people to work cleaning up toxic sediments in our region’s rivers and harbors, ending decades of sewer overflows into 95 percent of our nation’s fresh surface water, and restoring hundreds of acres of vital wetlands and habitat.”
“Healthy water means healthy people. Wisconsin has a rich heritage of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. I am working hard to guarantee that these resources are available for our children and grandchildren,” said Dr. Kagen.
This investment is estimated to create approximately 2,700 green jobs, restore habitat and wetlands sill, reduce the overall cost of water infrastructure projects and contribute to hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching economies. Since 2002, cleanups funded under the Great Lakes Legacy Act have removed nearly a million cubic yards of toxic sediment from rivers and harbors in the Great Lakes region.