Battle Ahead Over Great Lakes Funding

Mar 14, 2017

Lake Michigan at Grand Haven - file photo
Credit iStock/Elizabeth Quillian

(Great Lakes Today) The Trump Administration could be proposing a 97 percent cut in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding when it unveils the federal budget later this month. 

Great Lakes Today’s Elizabeth Miller reports that the initiative is one of many Environmental Protection Agency programs in jeopardy.

According to a leaked list provided by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the proposed funding for Great Lakes Restoration would drop from 300 million a year to 10 million. The GLRI supports thousands of projects dedicated to cleaning up the Great Lakes.

The list also includes cuts for other EPA programs dedicated to environmental education, marine pollution, and climate protection. These numbers have not been confirmed by the White House.

Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio was instrumental in passing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative renewal last December. He says he will fight to restore funding, as he did when President Obama proposed a $50 million dollar cut during his administration.

"We’re not going to let that happen, we’re going to continue to oppose cuts to the GLRI and we’re going to mobilize our voting forces to let them know that this isn’t going to stand." 

The list also includes complete budget cuts for several state grant programs, including money for beach water quality testing.

Ohio EPA director Craig Butler says he and representatives from other states spoke with the U-S Office of Management and Budget, requesting a seat at the table to explain their services and what cutting those services would mean.