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We Need Your Help to Protect Funding for Our Great Lakes
In its draft budget for fiscal year 2018, the Trump administration has proposed unprecedented funding cuts to environmental and natural resource programs. Among them is a proposal to entirely cut the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a conservation program that has historically had bipartisan support.
Since its inception in 2009, GLRI has funded thousands of projects to combat invasive species like Asian carp, clean up toxic chemicals and protect and restore wildlife habitat in Great Lakes states including Wisconsin.
GLRI has also been good for the economy; according to a Brookings Institution report, every restoration dollar invested has created approximately two dollars in economic return.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been an invaluable partner to The Nature Conservancy and other conservation organizations in Wisconsin. Here are just a few examples of the projects it has made possible:
- We protected 228 acres and restored and enhanced 36 acres of Great Lakes coastal wetlands and wildlife habitat in Door County, including essential stop-over habitat for migrating and game birds along the forested corridor of western Lake Michigan.
- The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited and the Wisconsin DNR restored wetlands in the Green Bay West Shore Wildlife Area, an important migratory stopover site for songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. We rebuilt and replaced dikes and a water pump used to manage water levels in the wetlands to improve water quality, restore fish and wildlife habitat and create new recreational opportunities for visitors.
- We worked with partners to build a treatment wetland on a farm field in the Lower Fox River watershed designed to capture runoff, including tile drainage water, and improve water quality before it enters the nearby stream. Together with the U.S. Geological Survey, we are monitoring the system to understand the wetland's contribution in reducing sediment and phosphorus and how to improve the design for future treatment wetlands.
- We removed invasive species including Phragmites on 77 acres of high quality Great Lakes coastal wetlands in Door County. The majority of these wetlands protect habitat for plants and animals of regional and global significance.
But more work needs to be done to protect the drinking water source for nearly 40 million people, critical habitat for birds and other wildlife and the places we all love to fish, canoe and enjoy the outdoors.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Please contact your federal legislators today and thank them for their past support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Then ask them to maintain the $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the federal budget for fiscal year 2018.
You can call or write, whichever works best for you. Please share examples of how Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and all of our Great Lakes matter to you and make a difference in your life.
Not a Member of Wisconsin Outside Voice? Please Join Today!
If you care about Wisconsin's lands and waters and want to help us conserve them for people and nature and you're not already a Wisconsin Outside Voice member, we hope you will click on this link to Sign the Pledge. You will join a network of people who are speaking up for nature and protecting the places they love here in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.
I know that investing in conservation is the only way we can help keep
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