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Great Lakes


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

Jul 28, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is pushing for more to be done to address toxic algal blooms that threaten the health of Lake Erie and is writing to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator requesting the Harmful Algal Bloom Coordinator be provided with the resources to combat the problem.
May 1, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko and Brian Higgins today announced that the Omnibus Appropriations package, which is set to pass Congress, raises the lifetime funding cap for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to $12 million. Designated as a National Heritage Area in 2000 (NHA), the federal investment is $2 million more than the previously authorized level.

Apr 24, 2017 Press Release

BUFFALO, NY – April 22, 2016, Spring cleaning was in full-effect. Over 2,000 Western New Yorkers participated in tidying up the shorelines across Erie and Niagara County for Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper’s annual Spring Shoreline Sweep.


The event targeted 40 shoreline sites in need of stewardship and litter removal throughout Erie and

Niagara counties.


Mar 16, 2017 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) said the White House Budget Blueprint, released Thursday, March 16, delivers a devastating blow to Western New York families and the local economy. 


Mar 13, 2017 Press Release

Over 100 people from throughout the Great Lakes region, including several from Western New York are headed to Washington, DC this week for Great Lakes Day, a coming together of regional organizations and federal policy members to discuss Great Lakes progress and needs moving forward. 

Feb 28, 2017 Press Release

As the House of Representatives Appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies prepares budgetary decisions for Fiscal Year 2018, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) testified before the panel to make Western New York priorities heard.  The subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes funding for the arts, historic preservation and environmental protection. 

Feb 16, 2017 Press Release

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).  

Oct 4, 2016 Press Release


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.

Sep 29, 2016 Press Release

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.”

Aug 26, 2016 Press Release

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.