FY 2022 Bipartisan Funding Bill Includes Key Portman Priorities to Protect Great Lakes, Support Conservation
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the FY 2022 bipartisan funding bill includes funding for a host of his key conservation priorities, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the National Park Service Centennial Act, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, and the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act. Notably, the bill includes $348 million in funding for the GLRI.
Portman issued the following statement:
“I’m pleased this FY 2022 bipartisan funding measure will benefit Ohio’s national parks and the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie. The bill increases critical funding for the GLRI, a successful public-private partnership to protect the water quality and ecosystem of our Great Lakes, and also provides funding to combat harmful algal blooms and to protect our fish and wildlife populations and their habitats in the Great Lakes basin. It also includes funding to tackle deferred maintenance projects at two of Ohio’s National Parks and at the Wayne National Forest, and includes my bipartisan legislation to extend the funding authorization for the Ohio & Erie Canalway. In addition, it includes critical international conservation funding to protect tropical forests, coral reefs, and migratory birds. This bill provides needed resources for key conservation programs in order to preserve the natural treasures in Ohio, and those around the nation and world, for generations to come.”
The FY 2022 bipartisan funding bill included funding for the following conservation programs that Senator Portman has championed:
- $348 Million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Portman has led efforts to reauthorize and secure funding for the GLRI, a results-driven program that is addressing the most serious issues that threaten the ecological and economic wellbeing of the Great Lakes basin, such as invasive species, pollution, and toxic contamination. The FY 2022 spending bill includes $348 million for the GLRI, which is $18 million above the FY 2021 spending level of $330 million. This funding for FY 2022 is in addition to the $200 million for the GLRI in FY2022 that Portman worked to secure as part of his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, which will provide the GLRI a total of $1 billion over the next five years.
- $15 Million for the Tropical Forest Conservation Act: Portman first introduced the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) in 1998 as a member of the House of Representatives. Last year, Portman introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the TFCA program through FY 2026 at $20 million per year. Companion legislation unanimously passed the House of Representatives in April 2021 and awaits passage in the Senate. In January 2022, Portman applauded the finalization of a TFCA agreement between the U.S. Government (USG) and the Republic of El Salvador. This FY 2022 funding for the TFCA program will allow the USG to complete additional agreement with other eligible countries.
- Funding for the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA): In FY 2021, Portman worked to successfully reauthorize the HABHRCA program through FY 2023, which has served as the federal government’s research and response toolkit for harmful algal blooms. The final FY 2022 spending bill includes funding for HABHRCA through programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- $20 Million for the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial Act: Portman, a lifelong outdoorsman and a frequent visitor to Ohio’s national parks, has long been a leader in the U.S. Senate in efforts to protect our national parks. He is the author of the National Park Service Centennial Act, legislation signed into law in 2016 that authorizes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund and the Second Century Endowment Fund, two public-private partnerships that are providing additional funding to help preserve our national parks for generations to come. This legislation also authorized funding for the National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, to match private contributions made for the purpose of supporting the Park Service.
- Great American Outdoors Act: The FY 2022 funding bill includes three Ohio projects at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, and at the Wayne National Forest — totaling $50.1 million — to be funded through Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act , which was included and expanded upon as part of the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act. These projects are: (1) Cuyahoga Valley National Park to stabilize the riverbank at high priority areas along the towpath and valley railway ($24.9 million); (2) Wayne National Forest to repair the lamping homestead and sand run dam ($140,000); and (3) Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial to rehabilitate upper plaza ($25.1 million).
- $5 Million for Migratory Birds: Portman’s Migratory Birds of the Americas Act provides the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program the resources it needs to protect the migratory bird populations that make Lake Erie one of the nation’s premier birdwatching destinations. Birding contributes more than $20 million to Ohio’s tourism industry and attracts visitors from across the world each year. This FY 2022 funding for the NMBCA program will help sustain populations of migratory birds that face threats to their health and habitats.
- Multinational Species Conservation Stamp: The FY 2022 government spending bill includes language that requires the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to continue selling the approximately 41 million remaining Saving Vanishing Species Stamps left in stock through the end of the fiscal year. Last year, Portman introduced the bipartisan Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act, which would require USPS to sell the remaining stamps. Proceeds from these stamps help support the five Multinational Species Conservation Funds to protect tigers, rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, marine turtles, and great apes around the world. In February 2022, Portman applauded committee passage of this legislation. Portman has successfully secured language in each of the FY 2019, 2020, and 2021 government funding bills to require the USPS to continuing selling the species stamp.
- $2 Million for Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act: Portman’s bipartisan Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (GLFWRA) provides critical resources to conserve and restore fish and wildlife populations in the Great Lakes. In November, Portman introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the GLFWRA program through FY 2027, which authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to partner with other federal agencies, states, and tribes to develop and execute proposals for the restoration of fish and wildlife resources in the Great Lakes basin.
- Ohio & Erie National Heritage Area: Last February, Portman introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area (NHA) through 2036. The bill passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee in November 2021. The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area spans the first 110 miles of the canal and has annually drawn over 2.5 million visitors to the region, generating $408 million annually in economic impact and supporting 3,200 jobs. The FY 2022 spending bill reauthorizes the NHA through FY 2023.
- Protecting Lake Erie from Dredged Materials: The FY 2022 spending bill retains Portman’s bipartisan language prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from dumping material dredged from the Cuyahoga River shipping channel into Lake Erie without the approval from the State of Ohio that it is environmentally safe.