Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Great Lakes from Harmful Algae Blooms

Jul 27, 2017 Issues: Environment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) today introduced the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Act to promote conservation efforts throughout the Great Lakes region. The bipartisan legislation provides federal assistance to Great Lakes states that administer voluntary assurance programs to help farms minimize agricultural pollution risks, like harmful algae blooms on Lake Erie. These programs, such as the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), have successfully aided farmers to improve conservation, reduce soil erosion, and decrease nutrient runoff.

“The Great Lakes are a vital resource and strategic advantage and it’s critical that we do everything in our power to safeguard their health and well-being. Lake Erie alone supports more than 117,000 full time jobs and provides clean drinking water to approximately 3 million Ohioans,” said Congressman Ryan. “This important legislation would encourage greater conservation practices aimed at reducing agricultural run-off which negatively impacts the Great Lakes and all those who benefit from them.” 

“The Great Lakes are a leading driver of Michigan’s economy and an indispensable resource for our state and nation as a whole,” said Congressman Walberg. “It is our duty to encourage responsible stewardship and conservation best practices to help ensure the long-term health of Lake Erie and the entire the Great Lakes ecosystem. By expanding Michigan’s successful MAEAP model throughout the region, we can take important steps to further protect the Great Lakes for generations to come.”

“We applaud Congressman Walberg for introducing the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Act,” said Carl Bednarski, President of the Michigan Farm Bureau. “This legislation builds on the successes of the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and will help Michigan farmers and those throughout the Great Lakes to implement conservation stewardship programs. More than 10,000 Michigan farmers have completed or are in the process of adopting and implementing MAEAP practices. We appreciate Congressman Walberg’s efforts on bringing attention to this important issue.”