Environmentalists are touting a new poll that show Ohio residents by a wide margin support continued restoration funding for the Great Lakes. Ideastream’s Bill Rice reports the state-wide poll shows support across political lines.
According to the poll, commissioned by a coalition of environmental groups, seventy-two percent of Ohio registered voters support continued funding for restoration projects on the Great Lakes.
Taking a page from anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, the groups are urging the presidential candidates to sign a pledge that they will continue the funding. Here’s Andy Buchsbaum of the National Wildlife Federation.
BUCHSBAUM: “It’s time for President Obama and Governor Romney to step up. Ohio voters matter and they are passionate about Lake Erie. All roads to the presidency lead through Ohio. President Obama and Governor Romney, listen to Ohio voters, restore Lake Erie and stop the Asian Carp.”
Asian Carp is an invasive species that is already established in the Mississippi River Basin and has decimated native fish populations there. The survey shows 90 percent of Ohio voters would be concerned if Asian Carp gets a foothold in the Great Lakes, and half support building a physical barrier on the Chicago River just a few miles from where it meets Lake Michigan to keep the voracious fish out.
Ohio’s Lake Erie sport fishing and related economic activity is estimated to be about a billion dollars annually.