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GLIN-folks!

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 
these funds.

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 
1997).

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 
Task Force.

Tomorrow: More on Energy and Water, Interior, Transportation and VA-HUD 
markups!