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Great Lakes dodge federal funding cut -- for now

Federal funding helps fight invasive species like the sea lamprey
Angelica Morrison
/
Federal funding helps fight invasive species like the sea lamprey
Federal funding helps fight invasive species like the sea lamprey
Credit Angelica Morrison
/
Federal funding helps fight invasive species like the sea lamprey

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.Great Lakes funding preserved in 2017

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. 

 

Copyright 2017 Great Lakes Today

Dave Rosenthal
Dave Rosenthal is Managing Editor of Great Lakes Today, a collaboration of public media stations that is led by WBFO, ideastream in Cleveland in WXXI in Rochester, and includes other stations in the region.
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