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Nolan heralds Great Lakes funding

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan Wednesday lauded the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee's inclusion of the authorized $300 million funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the passage of its Fiscal Year 2018 Interior Appropriations bill.

Nolan was a key leader in the effort to secure this authorized funding level for the GLRI, according to a news release from Nolan's office.

"The ongoing cleanup of the Great Lakes has helped transform our region into an economic powerhouse," Nolan stated in the release. "We have a sacred obligation to pass our national environmental treasures on to future generations in far better condition than we found them. There can be nothing partisan or political about that."

The fiscal year 2018 Interior Appropriations bill must now be approved by a full House vote, the release stated.

According to a University of Michigan study, the Great Lakes support 1.5 million good-paying jobs and $62 billion in wages every year from Duluth to the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Brookings Institution concluded full implementation of the GLRI across the region would result in a $100 billion boost every year to business, jobs, commerce, tourism and recreation. The GLRI supports some 3,000 successful efforts to battle invasive species, restore shorelines and clean up waterways like the St. Louis River. Moreover, those funds help continue dredging and harbor maintenance critical to moving Iron Range taconite and timber, Minnesota feed grains and Minnesota manufactured products from the Port of Duluth up the Great Lakes.