U.S. House Passes Joyce’s Bipartisan Bill to Protect Fish and Wildlife in the Great Lakes

Apr 26, 2022
Great Lakes
Press

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5973, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act, unanimously by voice vote. Introduced by Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18), and Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20), this bipartisan bill would authorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to continue to work with states and other agencies to develop and execute proposals to conserve, restore and manage fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Todd Young (R-IN).

“Like many in Northeast Ohio, some of my fondest memories from growing up are connected to the Great Lakes,” said Congressman Joyce. “This commonsense legislation is critical to protecting the fish and wildlife of the Great Lakes so that both current and future generations have the chance to make similar memories of their own. I’m proud that the House passed our bill unanimously and urge the Senate to act on this legislation quickly so that we can continue to preserve the Great Lakes, their natural beauty, and the critical role they play in our economy.”

“Protecting the Great Lakes and its diverse species is personal to me and so many who call Michigan home,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “Our Great Lakes are a way of life– providing fresh water and fish and wildlife habitat, as well as countless economic and recreation opportunities– and they must be preserved for generations to come. I am proud that this bipartisan legislation passed with overwhelming support in the House, and I urge my friends in the Senate to take up this bill and send it to President Biden’s desk. We simply can’t wait to reauthorize this program and protect our Great Lakes and the wildlife that call it home.” 

“The Great Lakes are a unique resource for Illinois residents who enjoy the outdoors, providing recreation and freshwater, and supporting our economy,” said Congressman LaHood. “As a Dad who regularly enjoys the outdoors with my three sons, I am proud that our bill will help fish and wildlife restoration in the Great Lakes, expand economic opportunities in Illinois, and improve conservation efforts.”

“Our Great Lakes benefit our New York communities in so many ways, providing clean drinking water, supporting heathy environments and ecosystems, and serving as powerful economic drivers,” said Congressman Tonko. “Without federal action to protect our Great Lakes, we could lose these vital resources. Today, the House took that strong action by advancing the bipartisan Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act. I’m proud to have introduced this legislation alongside my friend and colleague Congresswoman Dingell, and I urge the Senate to move quickly to advance our bill that will strengthen our waterways and ensure they can be enjoyed for years to come.”

Since 1998, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act has catalyzed over $40 million in federal funding to support over 148 research and restoration projects in the Great Lakes Basin that restored wetlands, maintained healthy fisheries and safeguarded our communities. Importantly, in addition to reauthorizing FWS to continue to conserve, restore and manage fish and wildlife populations and their habitats, H.R. 5973 would also help implement Great Lakes Restoration Initiative priority actions and renew continued cooperative efforts to address impacts associated with invasive species throughout the Great Lakes Basin.

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