Joyce Applauds Funding for Ashtabula River Forest Restoration

Apr 29, 2024
Great Lakes
Press

ASHTABULA COUNTY, OH – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) announced that the Cleveland Museum of Natural History successfully received funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s (GLRI) Forest Restoration program to restore 25 acres of forest habitat along the Ashtabula River. Earlier this month, Congressman Joyce sent a letter of support for this project to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service.  

“Since coming to Congress, I have worked with local and federal agencies to remove pollution, restore habitats, and improve water quality in the Ashtabula River,” said Congressman Joyce. “This funding awarded through the GLRI will continue these efforts by restoring forest habitats along the river. In turn, this will improve the scenic character of the Ashtabula River, driving tourism in the area. In Congress, I will continue to ensure the GLRI receives the funding it needs to carry out these important projects.”

“This funding is a remarkable investment in the health of our environment,” said Sonia Winner, the Museum’s President & CEO. “The Museum’s work to protect, preserve, and steward natural areas, including the vital forest habitat along the Ashtabula River, aligns with our strategic plan. This award will allow us to continue strengthening our conservation efforts in the region and promote a healthy, sustainable future for humans and the Earth.”

BACKGROUND: 

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was awarded funding to work with local partners to plant 10,000 tree whips of 24 native species to enhance forest resilience, improve wildlife habitat, and filter 1 million gallons of sediment over 20 years.

This project meets the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by increasing tree canopy cover, expanding wildlife habitat, filtering sediments and nutrients from a Lake Erie tributary, and fostering the ecological health of forests in the Lake Erie watershed. It also contributes to the scenic character of the Ashtabula River, which local communities are seeking to capitalize upon through ecotourism.

Earlier this year, Rep. Joyce introduced legislation to reauthorize and expand funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is set to expire at the end of FY 2026, for an additional five years through FY 2031. The bill increases the current authorization level from $475 million to $500 million in FY 2026.

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