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.
More on Great Lakes
As the country recognizes Earth Day, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is pushing for the federal government to take action to protect the planet by increasing its investment in the Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh water in the world. Higgins, a member of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force, and other members are asking budget appropriators to fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for fiscal year 2022 at $375 million, a $45 million increase over FY2021 funding levels.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, announced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act (GLRI) has been signed into law, delivering a major increase in funding for the Great Lakes.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation, which provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water projects, includes a provision led by Higgins which provides $25 million for a demonstration project aimed at eliminating harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes and other waterways.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced passage of S.910, the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2020. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supports university-based programs that focus on studying, conserving, and effectively using U.S. coastal resources, including those in the Great Lakes region, through the National Sea Grant Program. The bill reauthorizes the Sea Grant College program through 2025.
Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has received a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for nearly $300,000 to lead an effort across the Great Lakes Basin for coordinated cleanups through 2022. The effort will help keep drinking water resources safe and protect habitats throughout the Great Lakes Basin.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House floor to strongly oppose the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent rule rollback allowing the release of toxic metals into our nation’s Great Lakes and waterways, and urged colleagues to re-double their efforts to prioritize the long-term sustainability of the environment.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved an appropriation package funding various government programs and operations for fiscal year 2021.
“These are challenging times for our nation,” Higgins said. “This legislation invests in our communities and builds a path to a healthier and stronger America.”
Below are highlights of the package with a focus on several aspects important to Western New York:
Transportation-Housing & Urban Development
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bill providing authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water projects, studies, and Civil Works missions.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved a legislative package providing funding for fiscal year 2021. The legislation includes four bills including appropriations for: State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. The new federal fiscal year begins October 1, 2020. Additional appropriation bills are scheduled for a vote next week.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives has approved the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation, cosponsored by Higgins, invests in the nation’s natural resources and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually.