Trump administration's budget plan would cut Great Lakes cleanup programs

MAY 31 2002 FILE

Trump budget cuts to Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provoke Congressional outrage

But under President Trump's proposed budget, funding would plummet to only $30 million, meaning the restoration initiative would be losing a whopping $267,963.

"Michigan deserves better than this", U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St-Joseph, said in a statement.

The Trump administration made a similar attempt to strike down the waterway restoration efforts in its first budget a year ago but Congress intervened

Other programs remain nearly fully funded, including those devoted to cleaning up Superfund sites and surface water protection.

It's the administration's second attempt to curtail federal spending on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - last year, the president's budget plan would have eliminated funding for the program entirely. It's clear that when it comes to the Great Lakes our priorities are at odds with the administration. Advocates say they'll resist the proposed spending cuts.

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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. MI projects have received more than $600 million in funding from this program since its establishment. 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 US history.

Campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Todd Ambs says, "The Trump plan is pure fantasy and will not help solve the nation's water infrastructure crisis". "The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a vital tool used to boost our Great Lakes both environmentally and economically".

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The Great Lakes program is the largest of the federal programs, receiving about $300 million a year since its 2010 launch.

The Great Lakes program is the largest program. Stabenow says she'll continue to work on getting a bi-partisan group together to keep funding for the Great Lakes. The Republican-led U.S. House Appropriations Committee a year ago squelched Trump's attempted cuts for 2018 and fully funded the initiative, which enjoys wide bipartisan support and which funds water quality oversight, agricultural runoff mitigation, wildlife habitat preservation and more. "Just like past year, I will fight alongside colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote, strengthen, and preserve our Great Lakes".

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