Stabenow, Levin Applaud Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding for Western Lake Erie Basin

Monday, October 20, 2014

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $807,000 to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to fight harmful algae blooms in the Great Lakes. This funding, which is part of a larger national investment to protect the Western Lake Erie Basin, will be used to expand conservation assistance incentives for farmers, improve how scientists measure phosphorus levels in Lake Erie, and help Great Lakes monitoring and forecasting capabilities to ensure our drinking water is safe.

"The Great Lakes are critical to Michigan's economy and our way of life," said Stabenow. "This funding will support Michigan farmers and conservation leaders who are working together to protect Lake Erie and ensure our families have safe, reliable drinking water. Today's announcement highlights the important role federal support plays in making sure future water contamination crises are prevented."

"Since my days on the Detroit City Council, where we passed some of the nation's first restrictions on phosphorus in detergents, phosphorus-fed algae blooms have been a problem for the Great Lakes," said Levin. "This funding will help strengthen efforts from agriculture, science and local communities to combat this problem."

Sens. Stabenow and Levin led the effort to pass the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement follows the July 2014 discovery of a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie that prevented communities in Southeast Michigan from drinking or using their tap water.