Protecting Our Natural Resources
Northwest Ohio has some of the best farmland in the country and abundant water resources. Our quality of life and our economy depend on conserving and protecting these resources, now and for future generations.
Winding through the heart of our district, the Maumee River is part of the largest watershed that flows into the Great Lakes. Thousands of Ohio residents get their drinking water from Lake Erie and use Ohio waterways for recreation and their livelihoods. Yet, it is no secret that Lake Erie and all our water bodies are threatened by pollution, agricultural runoff, and pipelines. We need to work together to solve water quality problems at the source, rather than spending millions of dollars only treating it at the water treatment plants. Farmers–who are often the best stewards of our land–need the tools and resources to capture runoff before it leaves their fields. Toxic chemical runoff is poisoning our lakes and streams and critical waterways are under threat from a lack of environmental oversight. In Congress I will advocate for strong environmental protections that are also fair to the small businesses and farmers in our district.
Michael serves on the Toledo Rotary Club’s water services committee relating to grant applications involving clean water projects.
On Monday, October 9, 2017, Michael had the pleasure of attending a roundtable discussion with Senator Sherrod Brown about the 2018 Farm Bill. The event was hosted by Bill Myers of Myers Farms, Oregon, OH and included panelists from across the Ohio agricultural and conservation spectrum. The main topic of discussion revolved around the issue of farm nutrient runoff and its effects on our waterways. What became clear very quickly was not only the complexity of the issue, but the overwhelming interest in dealing constructively with the runoff issue. There was no pointing of fingers during the discussion. In fact, the opposite was the case.
Senator Brown listened very carefully as panelists described broad efforts to improve the environment while dealing with the issue of keeping their own businesses viable financially. Michael’s take away from this panel discussion was that most farmers are genuinely interested in working to protect our waterways and the environment overall.
Of course, there are always going to be elements who feel no obligation, whatsoever, to anything but a dollar bill. For this reason, it is important that state and federal legislators pass environmental laws which encourage mindful and ethically sound farming principles, but reprimand, in no uncertain terms, desecration of our environment.