President Trump's budget looks to cut funding to the Great Lakes

Aaron Brown
February 15, 2018

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said in a statement that the GLRI is critical to cleaning up the Great Lakes and for heading off invasive species like Asian carp.

It would remove all Environmental Protection Agency funding of cleanup programs. "We look forward to working with Congress to put in place a bi-partisan infrastructure package that works for people, communities, businesses, and the Great Lakes". Pruitt went so far as to say it was doing more to protect public health in the Great Lakes than any other coordinated interagency effort in USA history. According to the University Research Corridor, more than 700,000 MI jobs, one in five in the state, are tied to water. No matter the administration - Republican or Democrat - it seems none of them understand how important fresh water and the Great Lakes are to many Americans.

"Michigan deserves better than this", U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St-Joseph, said in a statement. Advocates say they'll resist the proposed spending cuts. While walking back the immediacy of concerns by noting that the proposal is just that-a proposal-he noted it does show the administration's priorities don't align with those of the region. It's clear that when it comes to the Great Lakes our priorities are at odds with the administration.

"The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative plays a leading role in preserving and restoring the Great Lakes ecology while strengthening the Great Lakes economy", he said.

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There is some good news for the Great Lakes: the budget calls for $2.65 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which provide low-interest loans to communities to fix and build wastewater and drinking water infrastructure-an increase of $397 million from fiscal year 2017 budget levels.

Funding for projects to protect our Great Lakes could be hanging in the balance under President Donald Trump's proposed budget.

"GLRI funds help to clean up toxic hot spots around the region", Flanagan said. "The economic health of our lakes depends on the important efforts carried out by the GLRI".

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