Kudos to President Obama and his administration for taking an important step toward fulfilling his campaign pledge to fund Great Lakes Restoration by including a $475 million down payment in his fiscal year 2010 budget.
Today the health of our lakes is threatened by problems such as invasive species and untreated sewage. Unless America invests in the lakes these problems will get worse and the price we pay will be higher. An independent report concludes that restoring the health of the Great Lakes will result in $50 billion in new jobs, industrial development, and increased property value.
The plan for Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery is a multi-year strategy for tackling the problems, and calls for action to modernize sewage treatment, clean-up polluted harbors, restore wetlands, and prevent unwanted, new species from invading the lakes. Each of these steps is essential if we are to restore the lakes and revive our economy.
Because Congress controls the federal government’s purse strings through the annual appropriations process, it is critical that Minnesota’s Congressional delegation take the lead in matching the President’s commitment.
We must act now to restore this great American resource. Every day we wait, the problems get worse and the solutions get more costly.