Trump budget would slash Great Lakes restoration funding

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

It works to combat threats to the Great Lakes, such as invasive species or loss of habitats.

The administration's fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, released Monday, cuts funding for the GLRI from $300 million to $30 million.

Great Lakes Today is a collaboration of ideastream, WBFO Buffalo, and WXXI Rochester.

The Trump administration's proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency strips away all funding for cleanup programs in the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, San Francisco Bay and South Florida, including the Everglades and Keys.


President Donald Trump's budget includes no money for so-called Clean Water Act Section 319 programs, which help communities reduce polluted runoff. 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. 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.

"It's clear that when it comes to the Great Lakes our priorities are at odds with the administration", Upton said. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan, co-chair Great Lakes Task Force (D): "I am pretty shocked after the major bipartisan effort that we had, and the push-back was so hard after they zeroed out the money previous year".

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". "We look forward to working with Great Lakes leaders in the U.S. House and Senate to restore funding to these important programs to ensure that Great Lakes restoration remains a top national priority". "Cutting Great Lakes investments by 90 percent - essentially eliminating the program - threatens the health of our lakes and jeopardizes Michigan's economy", Kildee said in a statement. Last year, Congress' Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted to buck their leader and fought to preserve the 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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