Sep 28, 2006- Kaptur Supports Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration

June 12, 2007
Press Release
Congresswoman Kaptur voted in favor of the bipartisan Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (S. 2430), which was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI). The bill passed the House by a voice vote. It was amended in the House, however, and must now go back to the Senate for approval.

"We will literally redouble our efforts to save and restore the fish and wildlife populations, especially in the Lake Erie ecosystem," said Congresswoman Kaptur. "This bill is an important first step towards working together with everyone who cares about a healthy lake and healthy ecosystem."

In 2003, Congresswoman Kaptur secured passage of the Ottawa National Wildlife Complex Expansion Act (now Public Law 108-23). That law permits the Secretary of the Interior to acquire by donation, purchase or exchange additional land and water within the boundaries of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, which is located between Toledo and Sandusky.

The legislation approved last night by the House would double the federal contribution to fish and wildlife restoration initiatives from the current level of $8 million a year to a new level of $16 million.

Congresswoman Kaptur said the Great Lakes Restoration Act, which was first passed in 1990, has previously been used to restore wetlands (such as the Boggy Bottoms in Sandusky County) and to boost fish populations, particularly walleye and perch, by restoring habitat and studying movement.

"There is so much important work to be done," said Congresswoman Kaptur. "This legislation will give us an important management tool."

A key feature of the legislation, she said, is that it promotes cooperation among non-profit organizations, state natural resources departments, colleges and universities, and federal agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.