Harkins: House unanimously adopts ‘Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Appreciation Day’

ERIE, Sept. 2 – The PA House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution declaring Sept. 7, 2020, as Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Appreciation Day, according to state Rep. Pat Harkins who, together with several of his colleagues, introduced the resolution.

Harkins, D-Erie, said H.R. 984 highlights the unique ways Lake Erie benefits the Commonwealth.

“Those of us who call this region home have a special connection to Lake Erie, which is a huge part of our history and identity,” Harkins said. “We understand the ways this incredible natural resource benefits our area, from jobs, recreational, and educational opportunities to the drinking water it provides.

“Through this resolution, my colleagues and I in the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus are hoping to make more Pennsylvanians aware of the ways Lake Erie benefits the entire Commonwealth by bringing millions in tourism, boating and fishing revenue and providing a unique escape for those who have not yet experienced the beauty of the Great Lakes.”

The Lake Erie coastal region is home to approximately 250,000 Pennsylvanians and provides more than 3,000 jobs. Key economic contributors include:

  • Presque Isle State Park, which attracts about 4 million visitors who spend nearly $80 million annually.
  • Tourism and recreation industries, which contribute more than $65 million to the state economy.
  • Harbors and marinas, which support a $71 million annual recreational boating industry.
  • A growing steelhead fishery, which generates nearly $10 million expenditures and $6 million in value-added activity in Erie County.

The resolution also recognizes the St. Lawrence River, which connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.