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This week, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI12) joined Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH14), Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI09), Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI10), Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY25), and Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI06) to introduce a bipartisan Great Lakes package that would authorize comprehensive programs to protect the Great Lakes and boost economic growth in the Great Lakes region.

The Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act of 2013, H.R.2773, would address invasive species problems, coordinate protection and restoration efforts, and bring together business and environmental organizations with a shared interest in the Great Lakes.

“As a lifelong outdoorsman and conservationist, I firmly believe that we owe it to future generations to restore and protect a national treasure such as the Great Lakes,” said Dingell. “We have made great strides over the decades to bring back native species populations, improve the water quality, and bring back recreation opportunities and this legislation will significantly help continue those efforts.”

“The Great Lakes is one of the jewels of the United States and it’s imperative we protect it for its environmental significance but also because of its economic might,” said Joyce. “Studies have shown more than 1.5 million jobs are directly connected to these five lakes, generating $62 billion in wages. I’m proud to be part of the bipartisan group fighting for our Great Lakes.”

“Congress needs to do more, not less, to protect the Great Lakes and provide resources for their full restoration,” Levin said. “The bill we are sponsoring today is a major step in the right direction, but it will be essential for Congress to follow up and provide the resources to fully fund all these vital Great Lakes programs and initiatives.”

“The Great Lakes are an environmental treasure to both our economy and natural resources; protecting them is of the utmost importance,” Miller said. “As legislators, it is imperative we ensure that the right policy is in place to provide needed and long-term framework to sustain the Great Lakes. We must continue to move forward vital Great Lakes restoration projects and programs aimed at sustaining the natural habitats and protecting against invasive species and pollutants.”

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