Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) reintroduced on January 8th the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act of 2015, a bill which passed the House of Representatives in the last Congress but was not acted on by the previous Senate.
This bill would formally authorize funding for the GLRI at $300 million annually from 2016 to 2020. Dr. Benishek is an original cosponsor and has continually fought to fund initiatives to restore the Great Lakes.
“The Great Lakes are vital to our way of life in Northern Michigan. Fully funding GLRI will give local communities across our district the ability to effectively combat invasive species, clean up local beaches, and restore local watersheds,” said Dr. Benishek, the only member of the Michigan delegation on the House Natural Resources Committee.
The GLRI will continue to address invasive species and pollution, restore and clean up toxic hot spots along the shores, and preserve natural wildlife habitats. Currently, GLRI funds support projects like the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Project and the Beaver Island Archipelago Invasive Species Initiative.
“I am confident that in the 114th Congress, we can continue the important work of ensuring that the GLRI funds critical projects throughout Northern Michigan – from Traverse City to the Western UP – so we can keep our Great Lakes clean and healthy,” added Dr. Benishek.
Dr. Benishek serves a co-chair and founder of the House Invasive Species Caucus and is a Member of the Great Lakes Task Force. Since being elected to Congress in 2010, Dr. Benishek has made the health and infrastructure of the Great Lakes a top priority.
Michigan’s First Congressional District has over 1,600 miles of shoreline-the most in the continental United States and is the only District with shoreline on three of the five Great Lakes.