LANSING? Sen. Darwin Booher announced Friday that he has joined with several of his colleagues to form the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Waterways Caucus – a group of lawmakers who have agreed to work together to address issues important to Michigan waters.
Sens. Goeff Hansen and Jack Brandenburg will serve as Senate co-chairs of the caucus, which will be a forum for a variety of issues, such as invasive species, Asian carp, low lake levels, tourism and recreation.
“As co-chair of the Legislative Waterways Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues on issues affecting our most treasured natural jewel,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Michigan has an abundance of natural resources, and our waterways are a key part of the lifestyle, tourism industry and local economy of many Great Lakes coastal communities.”
State Reps. Al Pscholka and Charles Brunner are the caucus’s House co-chairs.
“I am honored to be a part of a group dedicated to working together to ensure that the Great Lakes and other waters remain healthy and accessible to the many users that rely on them,” said Booher, R-Evart. “As a member of the new caucus, I will continue to partner with lawmakers from both chambers and both parties on critical Great Lakes issues."
Booher noted that Gov. Snyder understands the importance of the Great Lakes and applauded the governor for his commitment to dredging and his continued support for Pure Michigan.
“Our thriving tourism, boating and fishing industries contribute billions of dollars annually to our economy and support thousands of Northern Michigan families and small businesses,” Booher said. “One of the most pressing issues requiring immediate attention is dredging our harbors. I saw this firsthand when I visited Portage Lake in Onekama last fall where sand is quickly filling up the harbor.
“For the future of the Great Lakes and our great state, we must find solutions to the challenges facing our greatest natural resource. That is the singular focus of this new caucus.”
Booher also will be reviewing water issues at the regional level in his role as vice chair of the binational Great Lakes Legislative Caucus (GLLC) for 2013-14. The GLLC is a nonpartisan group of leaders from eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes Basin for the regional exchange of ideas and information on key Great Lakes issues.