Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump budget again targets Great Lakes cleanup program

Trump budget again targets Great Lakes cleanup program

President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal is both right and wrong when it comes to an ongoing project to clean up the Great Lakes.

His proposed budget would slash Environmental Protection Agency funding for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay restoration programs by 90 percent. 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.

But, as is the case with so numerous president's initiatives, he is right in insisting that if taxpayers' money is spent, results must be achieved. "Just like previous year, I will fight alongside colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote, strengthen, and preserve our Great Lakes".

Other programs remain nearly fully funded, including those devoted to cleaning up Superfund sites and surface water protection. "Once again, we will gear up in a bipartisan manner, to save the Great Lakes funding." Sen. "More frequent and intense storms increase runoff into the lakes and stress our water infrastructure, and accelerate harmful algal blooms". That's down from $167 million a year ago. "If there's one thing we've learned, we can't take it for granted that others understand how important our water is". "People across MI spoke out and took action a year ago to stop these cuts and I know they'll do so again".

Great Lakes ice cover for February 11 in 2016 2017 and 2018. Data from GLERL  NOAA. Graph by Scott Sutherland
Great Lakes ice cover for February 11 in 2016 2017 and 2018. Data from GLERL NOAA. Graph by Scott Sutherland

"The Trump Administration missed a major opportunity to help communities restore their water infrastructure". He said he plans to continue working to protect the Great Lakes and keep the GLRI fully funded. Now Trump's budget would give it $30 million. And, the Trump plan guts clean water protections that every American depends on for clean, safe drinking water.

In a statement released today, Kildee calls the cuts reckless. The health of our Great Lakes must be a higher priority. Bill Huizenga, Michigan (R): "The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative plays a leading role in preserving and restoring the Great Lakes ecology while strengthening the Great Lakes economy".

"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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