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Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Once again, Trump wants to cut Great Lakes restoration funding

Once again, Trump wants to cut Great Lakes restoration funding

In Upstate New York, initiative money has helped clean up tributaries to Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, improve water quality in the Finger Lakes, relocate mussel populations in the St. Regis River and prevent the spread of invasive species in Lake Ontario.

$2.65 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which provide low-interest loans to communities to fix and build wastewater and drinking water infrastructure-an increase of $397 million from fiscal year 2017 budget levels.

The program, launched in 2010, pays for cleanup projects in the lakes and in the tributaries leading up to them.

Trump released a budget proposal that would slash funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million annually to $30 million. It's clear that when it comes to the Great Lakes our priorities are at odds with the administration.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from MI, released a statement immediately following Trump's announcement, saying. "People across MI spoke out and took action a year ago to stop these cuts and I know they'll do so again".

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 150 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. "The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a vital tool used to boost our Great Lakes both environmentally and economically". "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, Trump zeroed out Great Lakes restoration funding in his proposed budget - but Republicans and Democrats in Congress came together to restore the money.

"If there were to be any kind of substantial cuts, I think it would be hard to improve water quality", Dodson said.

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