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W E E K L Y  U P D A T E  January 21, 2020
 
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NEMWI To Host Great Lakes Environmental Summit 
Sponsored This Year by The Nature Conservancy
The Northeast-Midwest Institute is convening its annual Great Lakes Environmental Summit in Washington, DC, during the first week of February. The Summit, which is an invitation event, convenes Great Lakes policy experts, advocates, and stakeholders to discuss the issues that are most impactful to the health of the Great Lakes. Participants at the Summit also includes Members of Congress and their staff, Congressional committee staff, and Administrative officials discussing the 2020 federal policy agenda as it pertains to the Great Lakes.  The Summit also provides an opportunity for the Great Lakes community and Congressional staff to identify and discuss regional legislative opportunities in the ever-evolving legislative and appropriations process.  
NEMWI is excited that The Nature Conservancy is the sponsor of this year's Summit. The Nature Conservancy, which is one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world, has continued to be a leader in providing critical resources to protect the world's largest source of freshwater. For over 65 years, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 100 sites throughout the Great Lakes, including prairies, savannas, forests, wetlands and rivers.
Great Lake Congressional Delegation Sends Bipartisan Letter Urging U.S. Army Corps to Prioritize Great Lakes Projects in 2020

41 members of the Congressional Great Lakes delegation sent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a letter last week urging them to include major priorities for the Great Lakes during the development of its fiscal year (FY) 2020 work plan. The letter, which was led by the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH), Bill Huizenga (MI), Debbie Dingell (MI), and David Joyce (OH), calls on the Corps to include additional funds to: begin Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) at Brandon Road Lock and Dam to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes; continue the construction of a new Poe sized lock at the Soo Locks; begin a Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study; and continued support for Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration (GLFER) program. Full text of the letter can be viewed here

Additional cosigners of the letter include: Foster (IL), Morelle (NY), Visclosky (IN), Upton (MI), Stevens (MI), Moore (WI), Gonzalez (OH), Lawrence (MI), Mitchell (MI), Quigley (IL), Stauber (MN), Kelly (PA), Bergman (MI), Kildee (MI), Katko (NY), Schneider (IL), Brindisi (NY), Moolenaar (MI), Steil (WI), Latta (OH), Gibbs (OH), Fudge (OH), Gallagher (WI), Walorski (IN), Schakowsky (IL), Rush (IL), Slotkin (MI), Stefanik (NY), Kelly (IL), Davis (IL), Levin (MI), Tlaib (MI), Turner (OH), Grothman (WI), Ryan (OH), Higgins (NY), Garcia (IL).
Please contact Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program, Matthew McKenna , for more information.
Great Lakes Members Introduce Resolution to Stop Canadian Nuclear Waste Site Near Great Lakes
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Gary Peters (MI), along with Representatives Dan Kildee (MI) and Congressman John Moolenaar (MI) introduced a bipartisan resolution opposing Canada's placement of a permanent nuclear waste storage site near the shared Great Lakes Basin, which is currently being considered at two sites by Canada. The resolution, which has also been introduced in the previous three Congresses, would ask the President of the United States and the Secretary of State to work with their Canadian counterparts to find a solution to permanently store nuclear waste outside the Great Lakes basin.
Additional cosponsors of the resolution include: Senate - Baldwin (WI), Brown (OH), Durbin (IL), Duckworth (IL), Gillibrand (NY), and Klobuchar (MN). House - Bergman (MI), Dingell (MI), Fudge (OH), Higgins (NY), Huizenga (MI), Joyce, (OH), Kaptur (OH), Krishnamoorthi (IL), Lawrence (MI), Levin (MI), McCollum (MN), Mitchell (MI), Morelle (NY), Schakowsky (IL), Slotkin (MI), Stevens (MI), Tlaib (MI), Upton (MI), and Walorski (IN). 
Please contact Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program, Matthew McKenna, for more information.
New Research Tool to Support Opportunity Zone Development

A new research tool for locating and analyzing opportunity zones nationwide is now available as a result of an initiative at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.  The U.S. Economic Development Administration has supported Indiana University in developing and launching this new on-line service.
The provision for opportunity zones was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allowing states to designate areas of higher than average poverty rates and/or lower than average income rates as opportunity zones.  The new research tool utilizes census data and five indicators of strength and opportunity, including housing, stability, education health/well-being, and economic security/mobility, to determine which communities would be the most profitable opportunity zones.
The new mapping tool is able to find and map every opportunity zone in the country.  It utilizes data points for each census tract to create opportunity scores across the five indicators, pointing users toward positive opportunity score outcomes.  The tool also is available to local governments to guide the usage of opportunity zones to meet local priorities and objectives, highlighting the best course of action in utilizing opportunity zones to achieve their potential.
To learn more about the new opportunity zone mapping tool, click here.
To access the new opportunity zone mapping tool, click here.

This Week in Washington

In the Senate:


House in recess for week of January 21 - 24.

NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation