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Schumer touts Great Lakes restoration plan

Sen. Charles Schumer was in Rochester on Monday to push for Congress to fully fund President Barack Obama’s $475 million Great Lakes restoration initiative.
The initiative, to be run by the Environmental Protection Agency, would provide funding to local governments and environmental groups as well as other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to reduce pollution and invasive species in the Great Lakes.
“Lake Ontario, aside from providing summertime fun for families throughout the Finger Lakes region and Western New York, has the potential to be a true economic catalyst,” said Schumer, D-N.Y.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to take full advantage because of the poor water quality,” he added. “Cleaning up the Great Lakes, particularly the Rochester embayment (from Bogus Point in Parma and Nine Mile Point in Webster), will allow the region’s fishing and tourism industry to grow, providing much-needed jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.”
The five-year initiative would focus on toxic substances, invasive species, pollution, wildlife and habitat restoration, and program administration, Schumer said.
Poor water conditions have resulted in Rochester-area beaches being closed more often than not so far this summer, Schumer said. Ontario Beach has been closed 34 of 63 days because of high bacteria levels, he said. Durand Eastman Beach has been closed 33 of 67 days.
Lake Ontario also is plagued with invasive species such as lamprey and zebra mussels, Schumer said.

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Schumer touts Great Lakes restoration plan

Sen. Charles Schumer was in Rochester on Monday to push for Congress to fully fund President Barack Obama’s $475 million Great Lakes restoration initiative.
    
The initiative, to be run by the Environmental Protection Agency, would provide funding to local governments and environmental groups as well as other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to reduce pollution and invasive species in the Great Lakes.
    
“Lake Ontario, aside from providing summertime fun for families throughout the Finger Lakes region and Western New York, has the potential to be a true economic catalyst,” said Schumer, D-N.Y.
   
“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to take full advantage because of the poor water quality,” he added. “Cleaning up the Great Lakes, particularly the Rochester embayment (from Bogus Point in Parma and Nine Mile Point in Webster), will allow the region’s fishing and tourism industry to grow, providing much-needed jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.”
    
The five-year initiative would focus on toxic substances, invasive species, pollution, wildlife and habitat restoration, and program administration, Schumer said.
    
Poor water conditions have resulted in Rochester-area beaches being closed more often than not so far this summer, Schumer said. Ontario Beach has been closed 34 of 63 days because of high bacteria levels, he said. Durand Eastman Beach has been closed 33 of 67 days.
    
Lake Ontario also is plagued with invasive species such as lamprey and zebra mussels, Schumer said.

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