I have just returned from Washington, D.C. where Debbie Chub and I represented League of Women Voters of Indiana at Great Lakes Day. This is an annual event where citizen lobbyists from throughout the country come to address the need for continuation of federally funded programs to protect the Great Lakes from pollution and to restore the Areas of Concern, and discuss other important concerns about the health of the Great Lakes.
LWVIN is a member of Healing our Waters, the Coalition that organizes Great Lakes Day. The Indiana team was able to meet with Representatives Stutzman and Walorski as well as staff from the offices of Representatives Carson, Visclosky, Donnelly and Coats. The other Indiana Representatives did not respond to meeting requests.
The first day we were updated on all the marvelous projects that have been completed because of Great Lakes Restoration Funding. Please take a look at the Great Lakes, Great Impact website from the Joyce Foundation which gives you more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). We would appreciate any efforts you can make to gain your legislator’s support for $300 million federal dollars to continue the work of restoring the Great Lakes. Healing Our Waters has put out an action alert with valuable information about how individuals can help.
Debbie and I were also able to attend a most informative hearing called by Representative John Conyers (MI-3) and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee on how federal, state and local agencies can work together to ensure universal access to quality drinking water. The hearing was supported by Representatives Charlie Rangel (NY-13), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18).
This link describes the problem addressed: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-conyers/drinking-water-a-human-ri_b_6754308.html
Representative Stutzman is a farmer and was most amenable to our suggestions on the necessity of reducing nutrient outflows from farm lands into our waterways. We expected to spend fifteen minutes with a staff member and instead spent forty minutes with him.
The trip was very valuable.
Jeanette Neagu, Chair
Natural Resources Committee
LWV of Indiana