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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 12 June 2006






Weekly Update 12 June 2006



  • Great Ships for the Great Lakes – Report
  • Funding for Invasive Species Dispersal Barrier – Emergency Supplemental
  • Local Foods for Healthy Farms and Communities – Briefing
  • Electricity Supplies – Briefing on the Summer Outlook
  • U.S.-Canada Commerce and Travel – Legislation
  • Math and Science Education -- Legislation
  • Environmental Policy Analyst – Job Opening

Great Ships for the Great Lakes – Report


The Northeast-Midwest Institute has released a scoping report for the Great Ships Initiative entitled, “Great Ships for the Great Lakes:  Commercial Vessels Free of Invasive Species in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System.”  The report provides a fact base, rationale, and preliminary plan for a collective industry-led response to the problem of ship-mediated introductions of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes. The report is available for download from the Institute's website: http://www.nemw.org/scopingreport.pdf


Funding for Invasive Species Dispersal Barrier – Emergency Supplemental


The fiscal 2006 Emergency Supplemental conference report, in order to block the advance of Asian carp, ensures that the Army Corps of Engineers will operate the temporary barrier on the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal for the remainder of the year, and it allows the Corps to reprogram money in future years for barrier 1 without getting a specific appropriation.  The House is expected to pass the conference report on Monday, June 12, and the Senate will pass it on Tuesday.  Contact:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).


Local Foods for Healthy Farms and Communities – Briefing


A Capitol Hill briefing on Tuesday, June 13, will examine how local agriculture and food systems are improving access to healthy foods by schools, retailers, restaurants, and communities.  Hosted by Senators Hilary Clinton (D-NY), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Thomas Harkin (D-IA), and Herbert Kohl (D-WI), the event will feature an expert panel discussing issues of agriculture and the food supply, nutrition and education, and obesity and health.  The briefing will run from 1:30 pm until 3:00 pm in 485 Russell Senate Office Building. 


The briefing is jointly sponsored by the Community Food Security Coalition, Northeast-Midwest Institute, Food Trust, National Farmers Union, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Family Farm Coalition, Henry A. Wallace Institute at Winrock International, Chez Panisse Foundation, D.C. Central Kitchen, and Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.  RSVP to Amanda Wagner at the Community Food Security Coalition (202/543-1300).


Electricity Supplies – Briefing on the Summer Outlook


The Council of Regional Transmission Organizations will host a luncheon briefing on Monday, June 19, on the summer outlook for electricity supplies and the role of regional transmission operators in managing the electric grid.  The June 19 event will run from noon until 1:30 pm in B369 Rayburn House Office Building.  Lunch will be provided.  Contact:  Denise Schuhart with PJM Interconnection (202/393-7757)

U.S.-Canada Commerce and Travel – Legislation

Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and John McHugh (R-NY) are seeking cosponsors for the Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act (PACT Act, H.R. 5536), which would increase northern-border security while allowing for the free-flow of trade and low-risk travelers.  Specifically, this bill would will extend the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative’s (WHTI’s)  implementation date to September 15, 2009; require the Departments of Homeland Security and State to develop standards for securing existing documents, such as driver's licenses; set the price of the new travel card at no more than $20 and make it available within ten days; exempt children younger than 16 from the WHTI documentary requirements; and, expand expedited traveler programs such as NEXUS and FAST.  Contacts: Alan Snyder with Rep. Slaughter (202/225-3615) or Chris Mathey with Rep. McHugh (202/225-4611).

Math and Science Education -- Legislation

Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-MI) is seeking cosponsors for bi-partisan legislation (HR 5358) aimed at strengthening math and science education in the U.S.  Specifically, this bill would encourage more math and science students to become K-12 teachers by expanding an existing scholarship program administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF); improve teacher training in math and science through the NSF; improve undergraduate math and science education by helping colleges and universities implement new programs to increase the number of math and science majors.  Contact: Charles Yessaian with Rep. Schwarz (202/225-6276). 


Environmental Policy Analyst – Job Opening


The Northeast-Midwest Institute is looking for a policy analyst to focus on ecosystem management and restoration in several major watersheds, including Upper Mississippi River, Chesapeake Bay, and Delaware RiverClick here to view a job description.



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