Gillibrand, Jedlicka played key roles in microbead ban
It is indeed good news that Congress passed, and President Obama is expected to sign into law, a nationwide ban on microbeads in cosmetics and other products. Protecting our waterways from this unneeded, man-made pollution is one of many steps needed to restore the Great Lakes, Niagara and Buffalo rivers and make them more robust and ecologically sound.
Two women with Western New York ties played pivotal roles and deserve credit. On Sept. 5, 2014, Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka stood together at the Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse on the Black Rock Canal and proclaimed the need to end microbeads in consumer products.
Gillibrand announced she would propose the legislation, which she then effectively championed. Jedlicka, as a longtime advocate of the need, enthusiastically signed on and lent her leadership. Fifteen months later – lightning speed for Congress – we have the ban in large part due to their work. Also, we should praise the Erie County Legislature for building momentum toward this national ban by eliminating the beads here, making Erie County the first in New York to do so.
Stephen W. Bell
Chairman, board of directors
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper