U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Gary Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $1,257,350 to help The Nature Conservancy and Wayne County Department of Public Services control and combat invasive species that could harm the Lake Erie basin. This funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. ‘Fighting invasive species is a major part of the effort to restore Lake Erie and improve wildlife habitats throughout Southeast Michigan,’ said Stabenow. ‘Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.’ ‘Keeping invasive plant species out of the Lake Erie basin is critically important for Southeast Michigan’s environment and economy,’ said Senator Peters. ‘I am glad the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making these targeted investments that will support local partners working to combat the infestations that threaten the ecological health of this vital resource.’ The Nature Conservancy and Wayne County Department of Public Services are two of five groups chosen in Michigan to receive a total of more than $2.5 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards to combat invasive species. The Nature Conservancy will receive $622,594 to eliminate invasive plant species from about 400 acres of land in Michigan’s Oak Openings Region and Ohio’s western Lake Erie watershed. Wayne County Department of Public Services will get $634,756 for a pest management program along the Rouge and Detroit Rivers that will help control invasive species. Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. Just last week, Sen. Stabenow introduced and Sen. Peters co-sponsored the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, which would give federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.
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