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GLIN==> NEMW/Great Lakes Hill Update - GL Funding

                          Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release                           Contact:
Monday, January 10, 2000                        (202) 456-7035
     Washington, DC -- Vice President Al Gore announced today that the
Administration will propose a new $50 million initiative in its fiscal year 2001
budget to help restore the beauty and livability of our nation's Great Lakes.
     Under the proposal, Great Lakes communities  -- such as Detroit, Milwaukee,
Cleveland, Gary, Duluth, and Buffalo -- would be eligible for matching grants to
help them restore and protect their waterways for drinking, fishing, swimming, 
boating and urban redevelopment.
     "The Great Lakes are among our nation's most cherished natural treasures.
We have made tremendous progress in restoring the quality of their waters, but 
much remains to be done," said Vice President Gore.  "Today, we are proposing a 
major new partnership with Great Lakes communities to help restore their 
treasured lakes and enhance their livability.  Working together, we can continue
to improve water quality, redevelop some of our nation's oldest urban centers, 
and protect the health of millions of Americans who use and enjoy the Great 
Lakes every year."
     The proposed initiative would provide $50 million in matching grants to
state and local governments to clean up contaminated sediments, control 
stormwater, restore wetlands, acquire greenways and buffers, and control 
polluted runoff.  The funds would be awarded by the Environmental Protection 
Agency through a competitive grant process.  State or local governments would be
required to provide at least 40 percent of project costs, resulting in a total 
investment of more than $80 million.
     States or municipalities will use the funds to address existing "areas of
concern" that were defined in 1987 by the International Joint Commission -- a 
joint partnership between the United States and Canada. There are 42 designated 
"areas of concern" around the Great Lakes Basin where the aquatic environment 
has been most severely affected.  Of the 42 "areas of concern," 26 are located 
exclusively in the United States, five are in waters shared by the U.S. and 
Canada, and the remaining 12 are located exclusively in Canada.  All of these 
areas have significant water pollution problems that restrict fishing, swimming,
boating, and use for drinking water.  Most are in older, urban communities 
confronting a range of pollution problems that detract from their livability by 
making it difficult to attract new industries and restricting access to water 
and open space.
     For over a decade, the governments of Canada and the United States have
been working with local governments, private industry, and community 
organizations to develop cleanup plans to restore and protect water quality in 
these 42 areas.  While virtually all of these areas have developed detailed 
restoration plans and initiated significant environmental protection efforts, 
funding shortfalls have acted as a roadblock to achieving cleanup goals.  The 
new grants proposed by the Clinton-Gore Administration would help speed 
implementation of existing cleanup plans here in the U.S. and within shared 
     The Environmental Protection Agency's fiscal year 2000 budget includes $17
million for research, demonstration projects and other efforts to support Great 
Lakes cleanup.  The Administration will propose continuing this funding in 
fiscal year 2001.
     Surrounded by rich farmlands and growing urban centers, the Great Lakes are
home to over 25 million Americans.  Many people use the Great Lakes as a source 
of drinking water.  In addition, millions enjoy the recreational opportunities 
provided by the Great Lakes each year, including boating, fishing, and 
sightseeing.  The Great Lakes also sustain a rich diversity of birds and other 
wildlife; an estimated three million birds migrate through the Great Lakes each 
year, relying on the lakes for their food and shelter.
                         Great Lakes "Areas of Concern"
Illinois: Waukegan Harbor
Indiana:  Grand Calumet River
Michigan: Clinton River
          Deer Lake
          Detroit River
          Kalamazoo River
          Manistique River
          River Raisin
          Rouge River
          Saginaw River/Bay
          St. Clair River
          St. Marys River
          Torch Lake
          White Lake
Minnesota:   St. Louis River
New York: Buffalo River
          EighteenMile Creek
          Niagara River
          Oswego River/Harbor
          Rochester Embayment
          St. Lawrence River
Ohio:     Ashtabula River
          Black River
          Cuyahoga River
          Maumee River
Pennsylvania:  Presque Isle Bay
Wisconsin:   Lower Green Bay & Fox River
          Menominee River
          Milwaukee Estuary
          Sheboygan River
                                     # # #
          Rochelle Sturtevant
          Coordinator, Senate Great Lakes Task Force
          459 Russell Senate Building
          Washington, DC 20510
          Do not use autoreply functions to respond to this message.  The 
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