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Dingell, Miller, LaHood Great Lakes Legislation Signed into Law

President Obama signed into law the bipartisan Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act introduced by U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Candice Miller (MI-10), and Darin LaHood (IL-18) to provide critical resources and funding to conserve and restore fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes. The legislation was included as a provision of S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, and it reauthorizes the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act for the first time since 2006.

“Water is a part of who we are in Michigan, and as someone who grew up on the St. Clair River, protecting the Great Lakes is personal to me and to so many who call our state home,” said Rep. Dingell. “I’m pleased the President signed into law this critical legislation that will protect the wildlife habitats that make our state unique and provide countless opportunities for recreation, support economic development, create jobs and benefit our environment. I’d like to thank Reps. Miller and LaHood for their partnership in getting this legislation across the finish line and for their dedication to protecting the Great Lakes for future generations.”

“Those of us who grew up along the shores of the Great Lakes understand that they are more than just a recreational joy, they are a way of life,” said Rep. Candice Miller. “Supporting billions of dollars in commercial and recreational industries per year, they are how we put food on the table, how we pay the mortgage. The recent reauthorization of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is critical to protecting the ecosystems that provide us with not only our way of life, but 20% of the world’s fresh drinking water supply. This critical legislation will help preserve the habitat of the entire Great Lakes basin for generations to come.”

“I am pleased to see legislation that I introduced in the House earlier this year signed into law by the President. As a father who regularly enjoys the outdoors with my three sons, modernizing the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act will revamp conservation efforts for outdoorsmen and increase economic opportunities for our fishermen,” stated Rep. LaHood. “I want to thank my colleagues, Rep. Debbie Dingell and Rep. Candice Miller, for joining me in introducing this legislation and for their bipartisan efforts to protect our Great Lakes and wildlife conservation efforts. The Midwest is the fortunate home of the beautiful Great Lakes region, and improving its conservation will surely improve the state’s commercial, recreational, and preservation activities throughout our waterways.”

“Ducks Unlimited is pleased that the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act was reauthorized in WIIN, and we appreciate Reps. Dingell, Miller and LaHood’s roles and all the bipartisan support the act garnered,” said Gildo Tori, director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. “This act will ensure much-needed fish and wildlife habitat restoration will continue for the benefit of sportsmen and women, and all Great Lakes basin residents.”

“The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is premier legislation that devotes important funds to the protection and recovery of the region’s living natural resources,” said Great Lakes Fishery Commission chair David Ullrich. “For more than twenty-five years, officials from the eight Great Lakes states and the tribes have used the act to identify top priorities for restoration and direct funds to where they are most needed to get the best return on investment. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission looks forward to working with Congresswoman Dingell, Congresswoman Miller, Congressman LaHood, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the basin’s many partners in implementing this legislation.”

The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2016 authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide assistance to local groups for cooperative conservation, restoration, and management of fish and wildlife and their habitats. It also makes it easier for local groups to come up with matching funds, which means more conservation and restoration projects that improve water quality, protect species habitat, and improve access for outdoor recreation.

Since 1998, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act has provided federal funding to 157 research and restoration projects in the Great Lakes Basin – from restoring habitat for the Kirtland Warbler, an endangered species, to detecting the successful reproduction of Lake Trout in southern Michigan.

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