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At long last, here is the update on FY 1998 Appropriations progress.
As of today, all 6 of the Appropriations bills tracked by the Great Lakes
Task Force have had full committee markups. Information on the Senate
Interior markup has not yet been released by the Committee. The Senate has
passed the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill and is currently
considering the VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill. The
House has passed the Interior bill and the VA, HUD and Independent Agencies
bill and is currently considering the Agriculture bill.
Overall, the news appears to be good for Great Lakes interests. 'Going
national' on the invasive species problems appears to have paid off in
terms of funding directed at the problem, without significantly diluting
funds traditionally directed to the Great Lakes.
Both the House and Senate provided the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil
Erosion and Sediment Control with the Task Force request of $350,000. The
Conservation Reserve Program, Wetland Reserve Program, and Environmental
Quality Incentives Program all receive mandatory funding now. Neither body
added any language imposing further restrictions on the disposition of
Both bodies provided greater than the Great Lakes Task Force request for
the National Sea Grant College Program. The House provided $55.3 million
and the Senate provided $58 million. Both bodies earmark a portion of
these funds for zebra mussel research.
Both bodies provided the Great LAkes Task Force Request ($15.2 million) for
the Coastal Ocean Program. The National Coastal Zone Management Program
Grants received $55 million in the House mark and $49.732 million in the
Senate, an increase over the FY 1997 funding level of $46.2 million. Both
bodies also provided an increase for Marine Sanctuaries, $14 million in the
House and $14.5 million in the Senate (compared to $11.7 million in FY
GLERL was provided with the Task Force request of $6.0 million in the
Senate report, but received only level funding in the House. The Senate
also provided $2 million in funding for for NOAA activities in the Ballast
Water Management Demonstration Program and the Aquatic Nuisance Species
Tomorrow: More on Energy and Water, Interior, Transportation and VA-HUD