Kaptur, Dingell, Joyce, Huizenga Applaud House Passage of Water Resources Development Act
Washington, D.C. – Co-Chairs of the House Great Lakes Task Force Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), David Joyce (R-OH), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Bill Huizenga (D-MI) applaud the passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) today in the House of Representatives. This bipartisan effort prioritizes the health and well-being of the Great Lakes as a whole and places a necessary focus on the viability of these beloved bodies of water. With today’s vote, the bipartisan and bicameral agreement now heads to the Senate for final approval.
In October, Co-Chairs of the House Great Lakes Task Force led a bipartisan letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee urging the Committee to include support for the Great Lakes in this year’s Water Resources Development Act. Specifically, the Great Lakes Task Force Members asked that the final package include provisions previously approved by the House of Representatives, including 80 percent federal cost share and full authorization for the Brandon Road project to prevent invasive Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes, and expanded authorization for the Great Lakes Resiliency Study contained in Section 207 of the House-passed Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 7575). The letter was signed by 34 Members.
“The Water Resources Development Act enjoys broad bipartisan support because it pays close attention to the unique and particular needs of the different regions of our diverse nation,” said Rep. Kaptur. “The package includes provisions to protect 90% of North America’s surface water on the Great Lakes. This includes a specific authorization of the invasive species control system at Brandon Road Lock and Dam, a project that serves a unique national role and once completed, will serve as a bull-work for preventing Asian Carp and other invasive species from threatening the fragile ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Today’s authorization marks an important milestone for protecting the Great Lakes $7 billion recreational fishery. Our region has advocated to include this authorization for nearly a decade. Since 2010, when Congress authorized the Great Lakes Interbasin Study, our delegation searched for a long term and basin-wide solution to Asian Carp. I commend the committee for imbedding resiliency into the Corps planning processes, and for investing to rebuild and advance the nation’s water infrastructure for the 21st century. Finally, the bill adds the words “Great Lakes” to the name of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. I look forward to working with my colleagues to shine a light on the Seaway’s unique role in unleashing the economic potential of the region and the nation. I urge support for this bipartisan bill.”
“I was proud to work alongside my fellow Co-Chairs of the Great Lakes Task Force to include bipartisan provisions in this year’s Water Resources Development Act to enhance both the environmental and economic health of the Great Lakes region,” said Rep. Joyce. “As someone who has long worked across the aisle to protect and preserve the Great Lakes, I know they are an invaluable natural resource and economic powerhouse and will continue working across the aisle to ensure Congress makes the necessary investments to treat them as such.”
“The Great Lakes are an unparalleled natural resource we are entrusted to protect for the health of our people, our environment, and our economy,” said Rep. Dingell. “By including critical provisions to protect our Great Lakes in the Water Resources Development Act, Congress has recognized that our most precious natural resources cannot survive without investments that protect our drinking water, strengthen invasive species management, and revitalize our coastlines. I commend our co-chairs and every member of the Great Lakes Task Force for their strong, bipartisan collaboration that helped us secured important authorizations for protecting these treasured waters from invasive species and putting a greater focus on coastal resiliency long-term.”
“The Great Lakes are an indispensable resource,” said Rep. Huizenga. “Congress must continue to prioritize the Great Lakes from both an economic as well as an ecological perspective. WRDA achieves this goal by authorizing construction for the critical Brandon Road Lock and Dam System to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and by addressing erosion mitigation, the impacts of high water, and coastal resiliency. This bipartisan bill demonstrates that Congress can take effective steps to protect and preserve the Great Lakes ecology while prioritizing and modernizing infrastructure.”