“Save the Dunes” Chief Talks To Congress About Water Quality
An Indiana environmental advocate’s returned from Washington D-C, where she made a pitch to Congress for funding to continue clean up of the Great Lakes. Nicole Barker of the Michigan City-based “Save the Dunes” said she tried to convince elected officials to maintain the budget currently allotted to the Great Lakes for restoration. The Lakeshore’s Denise Turner says Barker told her that additional budget cuts will hurt the region’s largest water supply system….
Denise Turner: As Americans, we sometimes take fresh water for granted, but Nicole Barker from Save the Dunes knows just how important fresh water is. Right now, she is concerned about several projects budget cuts might affect.
Nicole Barker, Save the Dunes: We at Save the Dunes like to think of the waterways in our region as veins that if they are not healthy our lake isn’t healthy and our community is not healthy.
Save the Dunes says the Great Lakes is a source of drinking water for thirty million people and ten million drink water from Lake Michigan.
Barker: We need to protect our water quality now more than ever for the future generations to come and that can only be accomplished with sustained funding for great lakes efforts.
Barker says another reason she asked Congress to sustain its three-hundred million dollar fund for the Great Lakes is that they are critical to wildlife. In particular she urged Congress to pass the Great Lakes Invasive Species and Wildlife Prevention Act.
Barker: Relating from things like contamination worries about Asian carp getting into our lake and affecting our fishing, um and other issues including restoration and coastal areas and wetlands.
Barker says if Washington trims its budget … Indiana residents will see more polluted waters.
Barker: Our systems are old and the pipes are broken and we need billions of dollars in the Great Lakes region to fix this issue and if we don’t we will continue to have beach closure.
There are many cuts Congress must make to balance our nations balance … but Save the Dunes hopes the Great Lakes fund isn’t one of them. At the Indiana Dunes State Park, Denise Turner, Lakeshore News.