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GLIN==> Great Lakes Fishery Commission Hails Signing of Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act



For Immediate Release
October 13, 2006
Contact:   Marc Gaden
734-662-3209 x. 14
www.glfc.org/pressrel/pr061013.pdf 
	


Great Lakes Fishery Commission Hails Signing of
Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act


Commission applauds Senators Mike DeWine and Carl Levin and 
Representatives Mark Kirk and Dale Kildee for advancing legislation
 to protect and restore the Great Lakes

ANN ARBOR, MI-The Great Lakes Fishery Commission noted with great
pleasure the president's signing this week of the Great Lakes Fish and
Wildlife Restoration Act, major legislation designed to rehabilitate and
protect the Great Lakes.  The act authorizes $16 million per year for
on-the-ground restoration projects and provides the Fish and Wildlife
Service with an essential tool to carry out its work in the Great Lakes
region, consistent with President Bush's Executive Order for Great Lakes
restoration.  The commission applauded Senators Mike DeWine (OH) and
Carl Levin (MI) and Representatives Mark Kirk (IL) and Dale Kildee (MI)
for introducing the legislation and ensuring its success in Congress.
The act signed by the president this week re-authorizes the act first
passed in 1990 and re-authorized in 1998.

        Congress authorized projects under the Great Lakes Fish and
Wildlife Restoration Act in 1998.  Since then, the act has funded many
noteworthy initiatives including projects related to restoration of lake
trout and other native species, walleye recruitment, the role and status
of prey fish, sturgeon rehabilitation, and wetland restoration.
Proposed projects are peer-reviewed, considered by a review committee,
and recommend to the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service for
funding.  The act enhances the Fish and Wildlife Service's ability to
make important contributions to Great Lakes restoration, improves the
review process to encourage better integration of fish and wildlife
projects, and increases the authorized funds available so that resource
managers can focus on local and region-wide projects.

         "For more than fifty years, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission
has supported efforts to restore and improve the Great Lakes," said
commission vice-chairman Gerry Barnhart, Director of Fish, Wildlife, and
Marine Resources for the State of New York.  "The fishery alone is
valued at more than $4 billion annually.  I commend Senators Mike DeWine
and Carl Levin, and Representatives Mark Kirk and Dale Kildee for their
commitment to the Great Lakes and for their leadership in advancing this
important legislation."

        "Throughout the basin, federal, state, and tribal governments,
non-government organizations, and other stakeholders are very excited
about the opportunity to further restore the Great Lakes," Barnhart
continued.   "The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act can
provide real opportunities to organize and fund a broad array of fish,
wildlife, and habitat projects necessary for restoration, in support of
the priorities and initiatives outlined in the Great Lakes Regional
Collaboration, conducted pursuant to President's Bush's Executive Order
for the Great Lakes."

        Barnhart concluded:  "This act is a tremendous opportunity for
the Fish and Wildlife Service to partner with states, tribes, and other
entities to advance Great Lakes restoration and is a major step towards
improving ecosystem management.  If adequately funded, this act, with a
re-invigorated emphasis by the Fish and Wildlife Service to provide
additional leadership, will strengthen the cooperation valued so highly
in the Great Lakes and will result in dramatic and successful
enhancements in our collective efforts to restore the region's fish and
wildlife resources."


 
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