By Zack Colman - 07/24/13 12:40 PM EDT
“This year, Great Lakes water levels reached new historic lows severely hampering commercial shipping, jeopardizing recreational boating and fishing, devastating the tourism industry, threatening electric power generation, compromising water supply infrastructure, and exacerbating problems caused by invasive species,” the senators wrote to Obama on Tuesday.
The signatories were Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinSenate continues to disrespect Constitution, Obama and Supreme Court by not voting on Garland As other regulators move past implementing Dodd-Frank, the SEC falls further behind Will partisan politics infect the Supreme Court? MORE (Mich.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowKaine: Being picked for VP feels like being 'kidnapped' GOP tries to link Dem candidates to Obama on Iran 'ransom' Dem senators to GOP: Dump Trump MORE (Mich.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTrump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration Rubio primary challenger loans campaign M Is Trump deliberately throwing the election to Clinton? MORE (N.Y.), Al FrankenAl FrankenLiberal hypocrisy on the free exchange of ideas Winners and losers of the Dem convention Party unity overcomes chaos...and the Bernie-or-Bust crowd MORE (Minn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownLame duck TPP vote could be disastrous for Dems—and America The Trail 2016: Her big night Kaine as Clinton's VP pick sells out progressive wing of party MORE (Ohio) and Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinTrump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration Dem wants hearing on EpiPen price hikes Legislators privacy fight coincides with FCC complaint MORE (Ill.).
The senators stressed that shallower lakes would disrupt the roughly 160 million tons of cargo that travel through the Great Lakes each year.
“If low water levels persist, harbors will continue to close and vessels will continue to light load, reducing our global competitiveness. Addressing the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes region is essential for ensuring the long-term health, safety, and prosperity of our country,” they said.
Obama didn't mention the Great Lakes in the climate plan he released earlier this year. As the administration moves forward, the senators said it should "fully incorporate the risks and impacts to the Great Lakes."
Read the full letter here.