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Congress approves funds to restore habitat for fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes region

Lester Graham
A great egret at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act will help manage wildlife and restore habitat.

Legislation to help manage fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes states is on its way to President Joe Biden. He’s expected to sign the bill.

“What this bill would do would reauthorize the program through 2027 at the same levels for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, so that they can partner with other federal agencies and states and tribes to make sure that we are conserving, restoring and managing our fish and wildlife resources,” said Democratic U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell.

The bill, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, was originally sponsored in the House by Dingell. It was approved there earlier in the year. When it was voted on in the Senate recently, it unanimously passed.

The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act was first enacted in the 1990s. Over the decades, 148 research and restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes region have worked to restore habitats and manage fish and wildlife populations.

The reauthorization keeps funding at $6 million dollars a year for the Great Lakes region.

More recently, it’s been overshadowed by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which amounts to about $330 million a year. It’s a more wide ranging effort to clean up pollution, fight invasive species, and also restore habitat among other projects to improve the quality of the Great Lakes and the watersheds that feed them.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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