July 31, 2017

Duckworth Amendment Would Increase Funding for Great Lakes Science Center


[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, the top Democrat on Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, announced that her amendment to secure $15 million of funding for the Great Lakes Science Center in each of the next five years was approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Her amendment to the Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation for Wildlife Act was modeled after bipartisan legislation from U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Rob Portman (R-OH), and would, if passed by the full Senate, authorize funding to conduct research in the Great Lakes Basin to help protect and preserve drinking water for tens of millions of Americans and support the Great Lakes' sport and commercial fishery industry.

"We need to do everything we can to restore the Great Lakes and help maintain our vibrant $7 billion fishing industry, which supports thousands of jobs and families across the Great Lakes region," said Duckworth. "This funding will do just that, doubling the funding for the Great Lakes Science Center, enabling them to use cutting-edge technologies to help scientists preserve our fisheries and rebuild our fish and wildlife populations."

The Great Lakes Science Center is a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission. It has offices and field stations in five of the eight Great Lake States, which conduct lake-wide research studies on each of the five Great Lakes to help restore, enhance, manage and protect the fish and wildlife populations that live within the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.

As the top Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, Duckworth has been a strong advocate for protecting the Great Lakes from threats like toxic pollution, invasive species and President Trump's budget cuts. She has been an outspoken critic of President Trump's proposal to eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, has introduced legislation to prevent Chicago's Region 5 EPA office from being closed or consolidated, and she recently joined a number of her colleagues in urging the Trump administration to release a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers analysis on how to stop Asian Carp from getting past the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, a choke point that is supposed to prevent Asian Carp from traveling from the Chicago Waterway System to the Great Lakes.