Dec 18, 2006- Congresswoman Kaptur Responds to Coast Guard Decision

June 12, 2007
Press Release
Congresswoman Kaptur, who has more of the Lake Erie coastline in her district than any other Member, worked together with colleagues on the congressional Great Lakes Task Force in writing Admiral Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard. They expressed concern about the Coast Guard proposal to conduct "live fire" weapons training exercises in 34 zones throughout the Great Lakes, including four zones in Lake Erie .

The Coast Guard announced on November 18, 2006 the withdrawal of the live-fire exercise proposal, citing public concern.

"I am pleased that the Coast Guard listened to the public and heard the concerns of members of Congress," said Congresswoman Kaptur, a member of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee. "We must of course keep our borders secure, but Lake Erie is a vital economic resource, especially for fishing and recreational boating."

The Great Lakes are both an environmental and economic resource for Ohio and several other states. Approximately one third of America's recreational boats are registered in Great Lakes states, and boaters and sport fishers contribute a large amount to the regional economy. Furthermore, the Great Lakes provide potable water for almost 40 million people.

Congresswoman Kaptur has been particularly active in obtaining funds for cleaning up the Touissant River bed and nearby lake areas from lead contamination stemming from previous military exercises.