State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) recently participated in the inaugural class of fellows for the Patricia Birkholz Institute for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Policy during a two-day institute focusing on nutrient-related issues in the Great Lakes Basin.
The Birkholz Institute brought together a bipartisan, binational group of 21 legislators from seven states and two provinces that share the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The institute is named after the late founder of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus (GLLC), a former Michigan state senator. Butler is a member of the GLLC.
“Illinois has been at the forefront in addressing nutrient management issues with our Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy,” said Butler. “As a Birkholz Fellow, and through work on the new Task Force on Nutrients, I look forward to working with other state and provincial legislators on ideas for continuing our work here in Illinois to reduce nutrient runoff in rivers, streams and lakes.”
From October 25-27, the institute convened in Detroit, MI and consisted of two days of programming, field trips and extensive discussion to study the causes of nutrient pollution, its effects on the region’s water and ways to reduce nutrient pollution by implementing the best evidence-based policies. Prior to that meeting, Birkholz Fellows participated in two web meetings to obtain background information on the topic.
As a result of this first institute, Butler and the other legislators formed the GLLC’s new Task Force on Nutrients. The task force will lead the GLLC’s efforts to take coordinated regional action to reduce nutrient pollution. A resolution and action plan for the GLLC are expected later this year, with elements of a model policy to be developed in early 2020.
The Council of State Governments-Midwest provides staffing services for the GLLC and organized this year’s institute with assistance from the Great Lakes Commission. Funding for the institute was provided by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. Membership in the nonpartisan GLLC is open to all state and provincial legislators in the eight states and two provinces that share the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin.
More information about the GLLC, Click Here.