American Rivers Calls on Michigan to Invest Stimulus Dollars Wisely to Protect Clean Water, Public Health

Michigan must invest in 21st century solutions

March 18th, 2009

Betsy Otto, American Rivers, 202-347-7550 x3033
Amy Kober, American Rivers, 206-213-0330 x23

(Washington, DC) – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has provided Michigan with an extraordinary opportunity to invest in clean water, public health, and improved water supplies, while creating good jobs.  $48 million in dedicated funding for green infrastructure projects is now available in Michigan, and American Rivers called on state leaders today to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Our water infrastructure is antiquated and crumbling and can’t cope with our drinking water, wastewater, and flood protection needs, and global warming will make the situation worse,” said Otto. “The good news is, investing in green solutions to these water infrastructure problems now will create jobs, stretch our water supplies and save money, and protect public health and safety in Michigan.”

 

“Nature works best,” added Otto, “If Michigan does not embrace this unique and important opportunity to invest in 21st century solutions that benefit our communities, the money may be wasted on outdated and inefficient projects.  We urge Michigan communities to submit available green infrastructure projects for funding so taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and Michigan’s communities can reap all of the clean water supply, public health, and quality of life benefits.”

Green infrastructure incorporates natural systems that can help supply clean water, reduce polluted runoff, reduce sewer overflows, minimize flooding and enhance community health and safety. It means restoring floodplains instead of building taller and taller levees.  It means planting trees and installing green roofs, rather than enlarging sewers or building a costly new treatment plant. And it means retrofitting buildings and homes with water-efficient plumbing instead of constructing an expensive water supply dam.

Green infrastructure solutions are cheaper and they provide multiple benefits, including lower energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. They also create jobs in many sectors that aren’t outsourced, including plumbing, landscaping, engineering, building, and design. Green solutions support green tech industries, including supply chains and the jobs connected with manufacturing of materials from low-flow toilets to roof membranes.


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About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.