Rep. Gibbs opens House hearing on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
“The Great Lakes present a unique environmental challenge,” Gibbs said. “Legacy issues, including the build-up of toxic substances in lake sediments in areas of concern and the introduction of invasive plant and animal species, are impacting the Great Lakes.”
To address these threats, a 2004 Executive Order created the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, which concerted the efforts of 11 federal agencies across over 140 projects. In 2010, the task force created the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).
“Since the beginning of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, there has been a concern voiced by some that restoration activities have slowed or even been halted due to a lack of coordination among the federal agencies that encompass the Task Force,” Gibbs said. “Other critiques include a lack of communication between the federal task force and their partners in state governments.”
The current hearing is intended to determine what improvements can be made to the GLRI based on witness testimony about project implementation.