Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) joined Western New York AmeriCorps Executive Director Mark Lazzara and AmeriCorps Volunteers for clean-up activities along Gallagher Beach in recognition of Earth Week 2008.
“The Great Lakes are Western New York’s most vital natural resource,” said Congressman Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Caucus. “Historically, the lakes shaped this region as a port welcoming settlers, commerce and growth. The long-tem health and vibrancy of this fresh water source is fundamental to the future of our environment and quality of life for those who will enjoy the lakes for generations to come.”
Congressman Higgins has been a leading advocate for protection and restoration of the lakes. Last year the Congressman introduced H.R. 3331, a bill to prohibit as a banned hazardous substance, certain household dishwashing detergent containing phosphorus. When discharged into waterways phosphorus causes excessive growth of weeds and algae which rob the water of oxygen that fish need to survive, limit recreational use of waterways and create foul odors. He is also a cosponsor of the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act, the Beach Protection Act, the Clean Water Restoration Act and the Water Quality Investment Act.
“At WNY AmeriCorps we are seeing greater numbers of young people interested in stepping up and serving our community,” said WNY AmeriCorps Executive Director Mark Lazzara. “This generation of local residents understands the important role each of us must play in building a stronger region and a better tomorrow.”
The Mission of Western New York AmeriCorps is to provide opportunities for citizens of all ages to help improve the nation through service to communities - making our environment cleaner, our children healthier, our schools better and our streets safer.
“AmeriCorps exemplifies Earth Day spirit and promotes community growth in the great work they do all year long across Western New York,” added Higgins.