www.mnaction.org Saturday, December 27, 2014  

Support investments in clean water and Minnesota's Great Outdoors

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Increased federal funding to protect Minnesota's future


President Obama's recently released budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2010 recommends increased funding for many clean water and natural resource programs which are critical to protecting Minnesota's Great Outdoors and economy.

While details of the President's budget will not be released until April, the broad framework recommends funding levels for several programs that are particularly important to Minnesota's lakes, rivers, streams and Great Outdoors.

But President Obama's proposal is just a blueprint for the House and Senate, which will debate and vote on their budgets soon.

To protect Minnesota's Great Outdoors, Congress should support the President's budget proposal for a significant increase in environmental and conservation spending, including the following:

1) Increased funding for clean water: The President's 2010 budget proposes $3.9 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. This is a major increase from the approximately $1.5 billion per year that was appropriated in fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

2) Historic new commitment to the Great Lakes: The President proposes $475 million for cleaning up and restoring the Great Lakes. Of this, the EPA has indicated that $60 million would fund the Great Lakes Legacy Act which cleans up toxic sediments in the regions most heavily polluted harbors, including the St. Louis River, and the remaining $415 million will be new funding for restoring shorelines and wildlife habitat, preventing runoff, and protecting against harmful invasive species.

3) Restoring the nation's commitment to park and natural area protection: The President proposes funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $420 million in 2010, with the goal of full funding of $900 million by 2014. The LWCF is the nations premier tool for park and natural area protection.

4) Continued investment in working forests: The President recommends $119 million for conservation easements to protect working forests, an increase of $34 million. While the budget does not specify which federal easement programs are included or the amounts allocated to various programs, it is likely that the budget will include at least some increase for the Forest Legacy program which has provided valuable assistance in preserving Minnesota
s working forests.

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Invest in Clean Water and Minnesota's Great Outdoors

Dear Representative,

To make the investments vital to protecting Minnesota's Great Outdoors, please support President Obama's budget proposal for an appropriations limit that is high enough to allow a significant increase in environmental and conservation spending. I want to make sure Minnesota's Great Outdoors, including clean water, the Great Lakes, parks and natural areas, and working forests, are protected and restored.

Please vote for a budget that includes the Presidents full appropriations proposal.

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