Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) supported bipartisan legislation to fund the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and ensure that it has the resources it needs to carry out its vital missions in the Great Lakes.
"As a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan, I know how critical the USCG is to this region's economy and the role they play in protecting all that travel on the Great Lakes. Currently they are working to clear historic levels of ice cover from the shipping lanes. In the warmer months, they patrol for our safety and enforce the laws on our waterways. From the Soo Locks to the U.S.C.G. Cutter Mackinaw, the USCG essentially keeps the Great Lakes open for business," said Dr. Benishek.
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved bipartisan legislation, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 4005), which allows the USCG to function, increases mission effectiveness and supports the replacement and renovation of maturing ships and equipment. It will also create jobs and promotes economic growth by decreasing regulatory burdens.
Northern Michigan is home to ten USCG stations and in the state alone, there are over 2,500 search and rescues per year. Small businesses work closely with the Coast Guard in Michigan, where more than 800,000 boats are registered annually.
"In addition to keeping traffic flowing, they ensure that all of our boaters--whether commercial or recreational--remain safe. As we enter another boating season on the lakes, I ask that we all take a moment to thank these fine men and women who risk their lives to save many," added Dr. Benishek.
Since coming to Congress, Dr. Benishek has been a strong advocate for the USCG, ensuring that operations remain available from Traverse City to Sault Ste. Marie.