- Reps. Dingell, Miller and LaHood introduce Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2016.
- Authorizes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve and manage wildlife populations and habitats working with states and tribes.
- Authorizes $6 million annually through 2021 to implement restoration projects and activities in the Great Lakes region.
WASHINGTON, DC – July 13, 2016 – Ducks Unlimited applauds U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Candice Miller (R-MI) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) today for introducing the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2016.
The bipartisan legislation supports fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes. It authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with states and other agencies to develop and execute proposals to conserve, restore and manage fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. The bill authorizes $6 million annually through 2021 to implement restoration projects and Fish and Wildlife Service activities in the Great Lakes region. It requires a 25 percent non-federal match of total project cost.
"The Great Lakes region in some areas has lost 90 percent of its historical wetlands," said David Brakhage, director of Ducks Unlimited's Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. "The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is an invaluable resource in Ducks Unlimited's effort to protect and restore wetlands, which provides habitat for hundreds of wildlife species and clean water for millions of people."
Since 1998, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act has provided federal funding to 148 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 tout in Michigan. Ducks Unlimited used program funding on several wetland and waterfowl conservation projects throughout the Great Lakes region. The program was last reauthorized in 2006.
"As someone who grew up on the St. Clair River, protecting the Great Lakes and its diverse species is personal to me and to so many who call Michigan home," said Dingell.
"The reauthorization and update of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act will continue to provide the resources the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to protect our precious Great Lakes," said Miller.
"Reauthorizing and updating the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act will increase economic opportunities for our fishermen and improve conservation efforts," stated LaHood.
The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act has been endorsed by the American Sportfishing Association, Trout Unlimited, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Healing Our Waters Coalition and the Ohio Conservation Federation. For more information, click here.
A companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Great Lakes Task Force co-chairs Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Michigan).
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.6 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.