The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development announced $28.6 million in federal funds to expand conservation efforts across the Great Lakes region and improve the health of communities along Lake Erie.
The federal funds will be administered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for projects that will prevent the spread of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie, reduce the invasive Asian Carp population, and research the health effects from exposure to HABs and cyanobacteria toxins in deadly algal blooms.
“Not only does this strong, bipartisan legislation fully fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, it also takes concrete steps to reign in the spread of deadly algal blooms and the invasive Asian carp population across the Great Lakes, said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo. “The negative economic and environmental impact these species have on Lake Erie and its coastal communities cannot be overstated. I look forward to the good this funding will achieve for Lake Erie and our entire region.”
Asian carp represent a serious economic and environmental threat to the Great Lakes. If this annual plight is not contained it will devastate a $7 billion fishing industry and equally important tourism industry. Harmful algal blooms are a particularly dangerous problem for Western Lake Erie and the entire region. In 2014, a HAB caused a drinking water crisis in Toledo, which impacted more than 400,000 residents.
Rep. Kaptur is co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force in the House of Representatives and represents a large portion of coastal Ohio along Lake Erie, the Great Lakes’ largest fishery.