Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2014by Representative Richard M. Nolan
Posted on 2014-12-09
NOLAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his
Mr. NOLAN. Mr. Speaker, Members of the House, my district includes
Duluth, Minnesota, the headwaters of the Great Lakes, and, of course,
the magnificent North Shore. I encourage you all to come and visit the
first chance you get.
I, too, rise in strong support of this important bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and I, too, would be remiss if I didn't compliment our chairman, Mr. Gibbs, and our ranking [[Page H8896]] member, Mr. Bishop, for bringing this legislation forward, and, of course, our chief sponsor of the legislation, David Joyce, our good Republican friend. Thank you for your leadership in convincing the Office of the President and our budget operatives around here that in this particular case we need a little bit more than what they wanted or recommended.
I would also remind my colleagues that this is not just about preservation; this is about taking responsibility for some of the neglect out of past. As I can tell you, back in Duluth, there was a time when we had to haul drinking water in for the citizens of Duluth because the water out of Lake Superior wasn't drinkable. I remember a time when the Great Lakes were so polluted they were catching on fire in some places because of neglect. So in many respects we are stepping up and we are assuming responsibility for neglect in the past.
I don't mind telling you how important it has been to us up in the Lake Superior area. We have had over 100 projects funded over the years accomplishing so many things: combating invasive species, mitigating pollution of the past, identifying toxins that represent a threat to the basin and our public health and our public safety, protecting wild rice--I am an old wild rice picker; you can't have enough good native wild rice--and protecting wildlife in general. What a difference these projects have made.
Last, but not least, I would be remiss if I didn't thank our Appropriations Committee members--Marcy Kaptur and Betty McCollum, in particular--for your stepping up in your leadership in this.
But there is still so much more to be done. That is why I stand here today and strongly urge my colleagues to give their full support to this important legislation.