Brandenburg to co-chair Waterways Caucus

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published February 7, 2013

LANSING — State Sens. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, and Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, will be co-chairing the new Legislative Waterways Caucus, a bipartisan, bilateral group of lawmakers who have agreed to work together to address issues of importance to the Great Lakes.

The caucus will be a forum for a variety of Great Lakes concerns, including invasive species, Asian carp, low lake levels, tourism and recreation.

Brandenburg, who represents the 11th District in the Senate, said he is eager to begin.

“There are glaring problems with Michigan’s waterways, and I am excited to start working toward solutions and tackling some of these issues,” he said.

Brandenburg said he’s interested in making it possible for struggling marinas to apply for funding to deal with issues such as a loss in revenue due to decreased water recreation brought on by low lake levels.

He also said he plans to encourage more talk about dredging issues that need to be addressed in areas along Lake St. Clair.

“The funding is badly needed on this side of the state,” said Brandenburg.

The 11th Senate District is located in northern Macomb County and includes Armada, Bruce, Chesterfield, Harrison, Lenox, Macomb, Ray, Richmond, Shelby and Washington townships, as well as a portion of Memphis, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore and parts of Richmond.

Hansen said the caucus is ready to tackle the many challenges facing the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland rivers and streams, and they look forward to working with colleagues from both parties and both chambers to help preserve Michigan’s waterways for generations.

“Michigan has an abundance of natural resources, and our waterways are a key part of the lifestyle, tourism industry and local economy of many Great Lakes coastal communities,” Hansen said in a prepared statement last week.

Hart is located in the 34th District in Oceana County, northeast of Grand Rapids and on the banks of Hart Lake.

Ultimate success will also require the cooperation of the administration, Hansen said.

“I applaud (Gov. Rick Snyder) for his most recent commitment to working with us to devise a long-term, state-based solution on the issue of harbor dredging. He will be an important ally in our efforts,” Hansen continued. “I am confident this caucus will find solutions to the dredging problem.”

State Reps. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, and Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, are the caucus co-chairs in the House.