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Senator Peters and Young's Bill to Update Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps Advances in Senate
Thu, 11 Jul 2019 05:45:59 EDT
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U.S. Senators Gary Peters of Michgian and Todd Young of Indiana Wednesday applauded committee approval of bipartisan legislation they reintroduced to update the Environmental Sensitivity Index maps in the Great Lakes. The legislation would require the Great Lakes Region ESI maps to be updated for the first time in over two decades, joining maps for the East coast, West coast, and Gulf coast that have been updated more recently. It would additionally require periodic Great Lakes mapping updates. These new maps will provide more accurate assessments of coastal resources that are at risk of severe damage or a natural disaster, including endangered and threatened species, sensitive shoreline habitats, and widely used community resources such as beaches, parks and boat ramps. The bill now moves to the full U.S. Senate for consideration. Senator Peters, who serves on the Commerce Committee said "It is critical for not just Michigan but the entire country that protection efforts for the Great Lakes are provided the same resources and attention as the initiatives safeguarding other shorelines and major bodies of water. I am pleased that the Commerce Committee has approved this important bipartisan legislation that would equip our scientists and researchers with more of the tools and data they need to protect our Great Lakes." ESI maps, which are coordinated through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, document the potential ecological impacts to natural and human-use resources from possible oil spills, natural disasters, and resource damage assessments.