(House of Representatives - October 13, 2011)

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[Page H6866]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                        GREAT LAKES RESTORATION

  (Mr. HIGGINS asked and was given permission to address the House for 
1 minute.)
  Mr. HIGGINS. Madam Speaker, the Great Lakes are one of America's most 
overlooked and underappreciated resources. They are the largest source 
of surface freshwater in the world, providing more than 30 million 
people with drinking water and supporting a multibillion dollar 
boating, shipping, fishing, and recreation economy. The Great Lakes 
fishery alone generates $7 billion in economic activity and directly 
supports 75,000 jobs.
  Yet the lakes are threatened by toxic algal blooms that are fueled by 
agriculture runoff, sewer overflows, and other pollution. Lake Erie, in 
particular, as the shallowest of the lakes, is exceptionally vulnerable 
to excess nutrients and phosphorus.
  According to a recent report by the National Wildlife Federation, 
this summer, Lake Erie saw the most severe algal blooms since the 
1960s. Madam Speaker, the Brookings Institution reports that every 
dollar invested in Great Lakes restoration results in a $2 return in 
the form of increased fishing, tourism, and home values.
  This program is cost-effective, and I urge Congress to reject cuts to 
Great Lakes restoration.