Great Lakes dodge federal funding cut -- for now

May 1, 2017
Originally published on May 1, 2017 4:38 pm

President Trump's budget priorities have put funding for the Great Lakes in danger.

His 2018 budget outline eliminated $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has backed hundreds of projects on pollution, invasive species and other topics. For a while, it looked like he might also grab $50 million in initiative funds in the current budget.

But at least the $50 million is safe.

Ohio Sens. Rob Portman, a Democrat, and Sherrod Brown, a Republican, said in a statement that the funding agreement finalized by Congress on Sunday night maintains the federal commitment for 2017.

Both said that protecting the Great Lakes is a bipartisan issue. And they pledged to work in Congress to retain the much larger chunk of money that Trump wants to cut from next year's budget.

A regional coalition of environmental groups said it was pleased to see the $50 million protected.

"Serious threats remain and our work is not done until we've put an end to beach closures, fish consumption advisories and unsafe drinking water," Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said in a statement. The coalition includes more than 145 groups.



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