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Habitat and Species

The landscape and aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes basin have been altered due to human settlement and activities, resulting in the loss or degradation of many habitats, and threatening the species they support. The Great Lakes have lost more than half of the region’s original wetlands and 60 percent of forest lands, and the region only has small remnants of other habitat types such as savannah or prairies. These changes in habitat type and extent have contributed to numerous plant and animal extirpations throughout the Great Lakes basin. Habitat and species restoration and protection efforts are vital to the maintenance and recovery of these valuable Great Lakes resources.


Legislative Activities

House panel to review pollutants' impact on wildlife
House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife (2009-06-08)
On June 9, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife will examine the effects that chemicals in the environment are having on fish and wildlife and discuss voluntary measures to reduce the exposure. The subcommittee will review research from several federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey, which have documented the presence of man-made chemicals and drugs in the water system.

Feingold Reintroduces Effort to Protect the Drinking Water of Over 100 Million Americans
Senator Russ Feingold (2009-04-02)
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold reintroduced legislation today to restore protections for waterways throughout the country that impact the drinking water of more than 100 million Americans. Feingold’s Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) would ensure protections for rivers, streams and wetlands, which were long protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA), but are now in jeopardy of losing protections as a result of two recent Supreme Court cases. Since those decisions, more and more waters continue to be stripped of protections previously provided by the CWA, which became law in 1972. Feingold is joined by twenty-three cosponsors including Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the EPW Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.

Grants to protect thousands of acres of coastal wetlands; seven projects funded in midwest
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2008-01-07)
29 conservation projects encompassing nearly 10,000 acres of coastal wetlands will be funded with $20.5 million from 2008 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants. The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish, wildlife and habitat. In the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region, projects were funded in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Grants for these seven projects totaled more than $4 million, matched by more than $3.7 million in partner funds.



Legislative Priorities

 Great Lakes Fish & Wildlife Restoration Act

 USACE Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration

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Updated: October 20, 2014
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