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Hicks-Hudson, Toledo Lawmakers Call for Lake Erie Funding

March 5, 2019
Paula Hicks-Hudson News

Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and state Representatives Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) welcomed remarks from Governor Mike DeWine signaling a renewed focus on addressing algae blooms and the health of Lake Erie.

“We all shared in the tragic experience of the 2014 water crisis and it’s something we must prevent from happening again,” said Senator Fedor. “We are encouraged that Governor DeWine is making this a priority.” 

Referring to the 2014 toxic Lake Erie algae bloom that left nearly 500,000 Toledo-area residents without clean water, the lawmakers say the governor’s focus on the lake’s health is welcomed.

“We need a leader who will help restore the partnership between the state and our local communities to better solve problems and protect our greatest natural resource,” said Representative Hicks-Hudson, who was President of Toledo City Council during the 2014 Toledo crisis. “I am encouraged that the governor wants to make the health of our lake a priority, and we look forward to working with him to do just that.”

During his address, Governor DeWine said his administration will prioritize and provide funding for Lake Erie. He also announced the creation of the “H2Ohio” fund to address issues with clean drinking water.

“While encouraged by the Governor’s willingness to make clean water a priority, I would warn him that we cannot simply spend our way out of the algae crisis,” said Representative Sheehy, who was recently appointed as Ohio’s representative to the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus Executive Committee, which represents all eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin. “This will be an expensive problem to solve, but without mandatory restrictions on excessive nutrient application, he runs the risk of failing Lake Erie and all his constituents that depend on it.”

“Lake Erie's health is vital to not only our families, but our farmers and businesses too,” said Representative Sobecki. “Northwest Ohio's economic success depends on the quality of the lake's water.”