Quigley Legislation to Support Great Lakes Fisheries Passes House
Today, legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Fred Upton (MI-06) to support fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin passed the House of Representatives as part of a broader bill aimed at preserving coastal communities and natural habitats. H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act, included the text of Quigley and Upton’s bipartisan legislation, the Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization (GLFRA) Act.
The GLFRA Act was introduced to provide the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Great Lakes Science Center with funding to conduct critical monitoring, scientific assessments, and research of fisheries between the United States and Canada that lie within the Great Lakes Basin.
“Over 35 million people depend on the Great Lakes for everything from drinking water and recreation, to fish and wildlife activities and commercial navigation. The passage of this legislation means that the Great Lakes Science Center will be able to protect this precious resource for those millions for years to come,” said Quigley. “For too long, the Great Lakes Science Center has been forced to rely on unreliable, piecemeal funding to support its mission. I am proud to have championed this legislation to ensure that the fishery industry continues to thrive.”
“Michigan, the Great Lakes region, and the entire nation rely heavily on Great Lakes fisheries to support the economy and feed our families,” Upton said. “The GLFRA Act will provide the Great Lakes Science Center with the necessary funding and cutting-edge tools they need to help ensure our fisheries remain a strong economic driver for generations to come. I am grateful for the bipartisan efforts that helped make this legislation possible and am proud to see it pass the House.”
The Great Lakes hold 18% of the world’s fresh water supply and cover over 9,000 miles of shoreline. Over 40 million people depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, recreation, fish and wildlife related activities, industrial water supply and commercial navigation. Within the region, the Great Lakes support well over a million jobs and generate tens of billions of dollars in wages.
The language from the GLFRA Act will replace the current Great Lakes Science Center authorization, widely viewed as vague and confusing, and provide a dedicated funding stream to replace their piecemeal funding. These changes will allow the Science Center to more effectively contribute to Great Lake research efforts.
As a member of the House Great Lakes Task Force and Vice-Chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), Quigley has introduced this since the 115th Congress, including re-introducing it earlier this year.