Trump Budget Cuts to Great Lakes Programs a 'Non-Starter'

His administration says state local and tribal governments should be responsible for regional water cleanups

His administration says state local and tribal governments should be responsible for regional water cleanups

This year, Gov. Rick Snyder called for a coalition of states and Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes to drum up funding themselves to fight invasive Asian carp.

President Trump pushed again Monday to slash funding for the Great Lakes - repeating a move he made unsuccessfully a year ago. That's down from $167 million previous year. Now Trump's budget would give it $30 million. But the proposal pushes the responsibility for water infrastructure improvements on cities and states. The money is used for projects like cleaning up pollution, protecting wildlife and rebuilding wetlands.

Trump announced the $1.2 trillion budget proposal for the next fiscal year on Monday, including in it $23 billion for border security, $21 billion for infrastructure and $17 billion to fund efforts to fight the ongoing opioid epidemic, as well as increasing military spending by 13 percent to $80 billion. The health and future of the Great Lakes, the largest collection of freshwater in the world, has never been more important and the GLRI targets long-term solutions for the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Ambs says, "The Trump Administration missed a major opportunity to help communities restore their water infrastructure". Multiple restoration efforts have occured in the St. Louis River estuary in Duluth-Superior under the federal program. And, the Trump plan guts clean water protections that every American depends on for clean, safe drinking water. The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to OH, and this initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy. It works to combat threats to the Great Lakes, such as invasive species or loss of habitats. "In Congress, both Republicans and Democrats have rejected President Trump's previous attempts to cut Great Lakes funding".

"A cut of this magnitude would severely damage Bay restoration efforts, just at a time when we are seeing significant progress", said William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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