One of Western New York’s greatest assets is its proximity to Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are a unique national treasure with global significance, containing 20% of the world’s supply and 95% of America’s supply of surface freshwater. They are also a vital engine of economic activity – supporting 1.5 million jobs, $62 billion in wages, a $7 billion fishery, and providing clean, affordable hydroelectricity. As a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, protecting the health of the Great Lakes is one of Brian’s most important priorities. Brian is one of the most vocal supporters of efforts to protect and preserve the Great Lakes, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other programs. Brian has also introduced H.R. 600, the Great Lakes Nutrient Removal Assistance Act, which would provide funding to update wastewater treatment plants with nutrient removal technology to keep nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, which can lead to harmful algal blooms, out of the Great Lakes.
More on Great Lakes
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says Western New York and the Country would have a great deal to lose if actions are taken to dismantle or eliminate the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Gill Creek, Niagara Falls – Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Congressman Brian Higgins and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster announced today that new life is coming to Gill Creek: 120 new trees and understory vegetation will be planted along the shorelines of Gill Creek, as the beginning of a larger creek-wide restoration effort. The trees and shrubs will absorb stormwater run-off before it flows into the creek, providing a critical riparian buffer along the banks and protecting water quality both locally and downstream.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announces approval of H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) providing $300 million in funding for Great Lakes projects.
“Cleanup of the Great Lakes is providing long-term environmental benefits and immediate economic returns,” said Congressman Higgins. “Continued funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is critical to keeping momentum going in Western New York and throughout the region sharing the largest supply of fresh water in the world.”
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) was joined by researchers from the Buffalo State Great Lakes Center to announce funding from New York Sea Grant to support an innovative study intended to identify the source impacting water quality in the area around Gallagher Pier on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) led an effort to extend funding for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The Corridor was restricted to $10 million in lifetime funding and was projected to reach the cap by next year. Earlier this year, Higgins wrote to appropriators asking to raise the funding cap and was able to include language in the recently approved Interior & Environment Appropriations bill allowing for an
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced approval of the Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 5538) which among other measures funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million and includes an amendment led by Higgins to protect against the diversion of water away from the Great Lakes.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House Floor during Great Lakes Day to demonstrate the importance of fully funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and other Great Lakes programs in Congress’ proposed budget for FY2017.
Since the creation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010, nearly $1.6 billion has been invested in projects to clean up the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater system. Locally, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supports a number of initiatives including the restoration of the Buffalo River.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District Commander Lt. Col. Karl Jansen to announce a $2.179 million dredging project in the Black Rock Channel.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced legislation aimed to update water infrastructure essential to protecting the Great Lakes and the communities that surround them.
“The Great Lakes are an incredible natural and economic resource for Western New York,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “Restoring and preserving the integrity of the Great Lakes is critical to our waterfront economy and the vitality of our region.”
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), announced approval of H.R. 5764, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act of 2014, legislation authorizing $300 million in federal funding annually to support Great Lakes efforts for each of the next five years.
“We see a great multiplier effect with investments made in the Great Lakes,” said Higgins. “With each effort to preserve and improve the Great Lakes we produce economic and environmental benefits for generations to come.”