Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Proposed Federal Budget Eliminates Great Lakes Funding

20-Mar-2017

The Trump administration has released its official budget proposal for 2018, and it includes drastic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The administration’s proposed budget would eliminate 50 programs and shrink funding to the EPA by 31 percent.

Funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) would be totally eliminated; the program currently receives $300 million to perform a number of tasks, such as cleaning up toxic pollution, restoring wildlife habitat, curbing invasive species and reducing runoff. In previous years, the GLRI has sponsored projects throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin. 

“The Trump Administration’s budget makes it abundantly clear that real leadership to benefit the people of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois will have to come from Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress, who have worked together over the last seven years to invest in Great Lakes restoration projects that are producing results for the environment and economy in local communities across the region” says Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We look forward to working with Congress to restore funding to these important programs to ensure that Great Lakes restoration remains a top national priority.”

NMMA President Thom Dammrich says: “The NMMA understands the fiscal climate facing our nation and the need for some streamlining of agency programs for efficiencies. We look forward to working with the administration and our members on Capitol Hill to ensure a final budget prioritizes outdoor recreation and the boating economy. Even in limited fiscal times, prioritizing boating and the outdoors will pay dividends for the American economy. We must invest in our federal lands and waters and ensure recreational access and conservation of our nation’s treasured resources.”

The proposed budget includes cuts to other environmental programs — such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Sea Grant program — as well. In general, the Trump administration’s proposed budget includes cuts to the EPA, the humanities and the state department, and proposes increased funding for the military and defense.

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Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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