Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and 17 colleagues sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army (Civil Works) R.D. James requesting sufficient funding for the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study (GLCRS) in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed this study to coordinate a strategy across the Great Lakes states to efficiently and effectively manage and protect the Great Lakes coastline.
The Great Lakes coastline drives a yearly $14 billion tourism and recreation economy. High water levels, recent storms, and severe weather occurrences have had devastating impacts on shorelines erosion and coastal communities. The GLCRS would allow communities to become better equipped with information on how they can protect their shorelines during storms.
"This study would be the first of its kind, making it immensely helpful to shoreline businesses and homeowners who can so quickly experience devastating financial losses during severe weather," said Collins. "After a year of unprecedented floods along Lake Ontario, the shoreline economy was hit hard and individuals are struggling to pay for damage to their property. As we work to replace the commissioners on the International Joint Commission (IJC) that implemented the failed Plan 2014 responsible for getting us into this mess, we are doing everything we can to prevent future devastation."
"As a businessman, I take requests for funding very seriously, which is why I felt it was necessary to make sure our 2019 budget includes funding to help Great Lakes states better coordinate their strategies for protecting their coastlines. Representing Northeast Ohio, I know that maintaining a thriving and healthy Lake Erie is important for the region. It supports over 100,000 tourism-related jobs and generates more than $750 million in state and local taxes. I look forward to the funding and implementation of this study, as well as its results," said Congressman Renacci (OH-16).
"The Great Lakes are home to 20 percent of all surface fresh water on the planet. More than 26 million people rely on them for commerce, transportation, drinking water, and recreation. Good stewardship of this precious resource in not a Democrat or Republican issue -- we all have an interest in investing in a vibrant future for communities along the Great Lakes. That's why I'm joining with my colleagues to push the administration to include funding for this important study in its budget request for the upcoming fiscal year," said Congresswoman Slaughter (NY-25).
"The relationship between the Lakes and regions along the water's edge are symbiotic, with the health and activity in the water having a direct impact on the economic and environmental health of waterfront regions. This study will be an important tool to allow for better planning for Great Lakes communities," said Congressman Higgins (NY-26).
"The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study needs to be funded in order to protect the Great Lakes and our beautiful coastlines. Taking care of the Great Lakes not only protects our natural resources, but also supports millions of jobs. Our region's economy relies on vibrant and healthy lakes that can be hurt by extreme weather conditions caused by climate change," said Congressman Kildee (MI-05). "I am glad there is a bipartisan effort to fund this study and I urge the President to include it in his budget priorities."
"The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study would be another important tool in our toolbox as we work to protect our Great Lakes and coastal communities. I'm hopeful that this strong showing of bipartisan support will push the administration in a positive direction. Whether it's coastal erosion, high water levels, storms, or other occurrences, it's critical that we fund this program for both economic and environmental reasons. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis in order to implement policies that protect and preserve our Great Lakes," said Congressman Upton (MI-06).