US CODE COLLECTION
|TITLE 16 > CHAPTER 15B > Sec. 941.||Next|
Sec. 941. - Findings
The Congress finds and declares the following:
As the human population of the Great Lakes Basin has expanded to over 35,000,000 people, great demands have been placed on the lakes for use for boating and other recreation, navigation, municipal and industrial water supply, waste disposal, power production, and other purposes. These growing and often conflicting demands exert pressure on the fish and wildlife resources of the Great Lakes Basin, including in the form of contaminants, invasion by nonindigenous species, habitat degradation and destruction, legal and illegal fishery resource harvest levels, and sea lamprey predation.
The fishery resources of the Great Lakes support recreational fisheries enjoyed by more than 5,000,000 people annually and commercial fisheries providing approximately 9,000 jobs. Together, these fisheries generate economic activity worth more than $4,400,000,000 annually to the United States.
The availability of a suitable forage base is essential to lake trout, walleye, yellow perch, and other recreational and commercially valuable fishery resources of the Great Lakes Basin. Protecting and restoring productive fish habitat, including by protecting water quality, is essential to the successful recovery of Great Lakes Basin fishery resources.
The Great Lakes Basin contains important breeding and migration habitat for all types of migratory birds. Many migratory bird species dependent on deteriorating Great Lakes Basin habitat have suffered serious population declines in recent years.
Over 80 percent of the original wetlands in the Great Lakes Basin have been destroyed and such losses continue at a rate of 20,000 acres annually.
Contaminant burdens in the fish and wildlife resources of the Great Lakes Basin are substantial and the impacts of those contaminants on the life functions of important fish and wildlife resources are poorly understood. Concern over the effects of those contaminants on human health have resulted in numerous public health advisories recommending restricted or no consumption of Great Lakes fish.
The lower Great Lakes are uniquely different from the upper Great Lakes biologically, physically, and in the degree of human use and shoreline development, and special fishery resource assessments and management activities are necessary to respond effectively to these special circumstances
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