Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline. Photo credit: Stefanie Spear
By Melinda Pierce
New findings revealed Wednesday show which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs will be most affected by the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts, including a 97 percent budget cut for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative strategically targets the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem, including toxic substances, invasive species and pollution. As the Senate currently works to finalize 2017 appropriations and develop legislation to fund the federal government in 2018, it is up to them to make sure that the EPA receives the funding it needs to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and the environment, through programs such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Budgets are statements about values and priorities. Trump’s budget shows his priorities are corporate profits, not our communities or drinking water for the 1 in 10 Americans who live in this region.
Because of President Trump’s proposed gutting of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the vital funding that goes to restore and protect the iconic Great Lakes could be nearly zeroed out, putting the health of these waters and our communities at risk. These cuts aren’t just despicable, they are dangerous to the Great Lakes that millions of Americans rely on for recreation and for business. Every Senator needs to do the right thing for those living by the Great Lakes and reject these dangerous cuts.