Collins, Slaughter agree on need for Great Lakes resiliency funding

Staff Reports Posted 31 January 2018 at 4:35 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-Fairport) often disagree in Congress but the two are in accord on the need for federal funding to protect the Great Lakes.

They are among 18 members of Congress who signed 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, Collins said in a news release today. 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,” Collins said. “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.”

“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,” Slaughter said.

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