The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act of 2014, a bill which Rep. Tom Reed was an original cosponsor of, passed the House of Representatives yesterday.
The bill authorizes clean-up endeavors and efforts to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes watershed including projects in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Seneca and Tompkins counties.
“The health of our lakes and waterways is critical to our economy and quality of life,” Reed said. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative cares for our environmental cleanup efforts in the Great Lakes region. The collaborative approach of the program helps coordinate resources so projects can be carried out in the most effective manner.”
The GLRI focuses on cleaning waterways, preventing and controlling invasive species, and reducing harmful algal bloom in the Great Lakes watershed. GLRI supports 16 projects in the 23rd Congressional District, which lies in the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario watersheds.
Over the last 5 years more than $40 million in GLRI funds have been invested in Western New York.
Examples of local projects supported by GLRI include: habitat restoration at Times Beach in Buffalo, dredging of the Buffalo Harbor, shoreline preservation and enhancements along the Buffalo River at Riverbend, removal of contaminants along the Buffalo River Area of Concern, restoring the ecological integrity of Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park and green infrastructure investments along Niagara Street.