Trump's budget plan would significantly cut funding for Great Lakes restoration

The Trump administration made a similar attempt to strike down the waterway restoration efforts in its first budget a year ago but Congress intervened

Trump budget cuts to Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provoke Congressional outrage

In Upstate New York, initiative money has helped clean up tributaries to Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, improve water quality in the Finger Lakes, relocate mussel populations in the St. Regis River and prevent the spread of invasive species in Lake Ontario.

The fund for the Chesapeake Bay is almost $73 million, but this year would receive $7.3 million.

But under President Trump's proposed budget, funding would plummet to only $30 million, meaning the restoration initiative would be losing a whopping $267,963.

The GLRI is an inter-agency program created to address the most significant problems in the Great Lakes, and works to protect, restore, and maintain the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Some officials, including Republican Sen.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which Senator Stabenow authored in 2010 and has continued to champion, is critical to cleaning up the Great Lakes, beaches, and waterways and fighting invasive species like Asian carp. As the world's largest freshwater body, the Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people, contribute $10 billion in tourism each year, and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region. Sherrod Brown said it slashes Ohio's priorities.

"If there were to be any kind of substantial cuts, I think it would be hard to improve water quality", Dodson said. The Great Lakes region alone needs more than $179 billion in upgrades, repairs, and improvements over the next 20 years to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to meet our clean water goals.

"Instead of investing in OH communities, so they can grow and create jobs, the president's budget asks Ohioans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires by gutting Great Lakes programs and eliminating economic development", Brown said. Climate change has numerous potential impacts on the Great Lakes over the coming decades, many of which we are already seeing.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force.

But Congress decided otherwise, illustrating the popularity of the cleanups among lawmakers of both parties and voters who want progress on long standing problems.

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