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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Location: Washington, DC



By Ms. STABENOW (for herself and Mr. Levin):

S. 1346. A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of maritime sites in the State of Michigan; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce legislation that will help celebrate Michigan's lighthouses and maritime heritage.

The Great Lakes are an inseparable part of Michigan's identity and cultural history. One of our symbols of that identity are the over 120 lighthouses that define our shorelines--more lighthouses than any other state in the nation.

These beautiful beacons not only serve their purpose as a navigational tool for ships, but they also draw thousands of tourists to Michigan's shores. Our lakeshore communities host visitors from across the country, who travel to view the magnificence of our coastal areas and the lighthouses that illuminate them. Our maritime museums detail the Great Lakes' rich history and unique character.

As the economy in Michigan faces numerous challenges, these small communities are more dependant than ever on tourism dollars. We must help them by ensuring that there are coordinated efforts to protect Michigan's lighthouses and promote the Great Lakes' maritime culture. If we don't, we risk losing these symbols of our history and our future for all time.

The Michigan Maritime Heritage and Lighthouse Trail Act would help develop Federal, State and local partnerships by requiring the National Park Service to work with the State of Michigan and local communities to study and make recommendations to Congress on the best ways to promote and protect Michigan's lighthouses and maritime resources. These recommendations would include specific legislative proposals for the preservation of lighthouses and maritime history. For example, they may call for the creation of a statewide trail highlighting the historical features of our shorelines and lighthouses. The recommendations would also include the identification of funding sources for Michigan communities, which are critical to this effort.

This bill has strong bipartisan support from all of Michigan's members of Congress. I urge my colleagues to join us in expediting passage of the Michigan Maritime Heritage and Lighthouse Trail Act.

I ask unanimous consent that the text of the legislation be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

S. 1346

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