U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force has led a bipartisan letter dated Friday to Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers Todd Semonite.
The letter from 10 of Michigan’s 14-member congressional delegation outlines the “imminent threat” Michigan residents who live near the Great Lakes face due to high water levels and erosion. The letter reinforces the need to streamline the permitting process at both the state and federal level to ensure property owners can implement safety measures to protect their homes and livelihood.
“With water levels in the Great Lakes at historic highs, residents across the state are facing imminent threats to property, infrastructure, and shorelines due to the resulting erosion. Many of our constituents are in critical need of installing shoreline protection projects to safeguard their homes and families,” the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote. “As representatives of the Great Lakes State, we strongly request the USACE to proceed with all possible urgency as the Corps evaluates and reviews shore protection permits. Our communities are facing an imminent threat and we must all work together to provide expedited solutions.”
The Great Lakes have faced record levels this year, as the Advance has reported. Last month, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) released a 21-page report on the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes. Among the findings were that erratic and extreme lake level fluctuations will be the “new normal” for the Great Lakes, as climate change causes more frequent and more intense storms.
The other members of Congress to sign onto the letter are: U.S. Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet), Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), John Moolenaar (R-Midland), Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), Tim Walberg (R-Tipton), Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.), Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield).