Kildee: Trump's call to gut Great Lakes funding "reckless"
Feb 15 2018
"It will once again be up to Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress to support Great Lakes restoration efforts that are producing results for our environment and economy in communities across the region".
Critics say that slashing the funding for Great Lakes restoration makes no sense after a decade of advances in slowing the spread of exotic species, improving fish and wildlife habitat, dredging and capping legacy toxic sediment and reducing urban and agricultural runoff.
The Trump administration made a similar attempt to strike down the waterway restoration efforts in its first budget a year ago, but Congress intervened.
The Great Lakes program is the largest program. The President's 2019 proposed budget includes massive cuts in funding the GLRI, from $298 million all the way down to $3o million.
Other programs remain nearly fully funded, including those devoted to cleaning up Superfund sites and surface water protection. It places the financial burden on local communities, which have taken on the lion's share of funding these expensive projects over the last 40 years and have consequently seen water bills skyrocket for individuals and families. Senator Stabenow says she was stunned by the proposal. "If there's one thing we've learned, we can't take it for granted that others understand how important our water is".
Ambs says, "The Trump Administration missed a major opportunity to help communities restore their water infrastructure".
Trump's budget would give it $30 million. 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's clear that when it comes to the Great Lakes our priorities are at odds with the administration", Upton said.
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.
"If there were to be any kind of substantial cuts, I think it would be hard to improve water quality", Dodson said.