While environmental issues did not play a prominent role in this year's presidential election, some activists were cheered when the president mentioned global warming in his election night speech. And one area group says this is a crucial time in determining how the federal government will focus on issues of climate, pollution, water levels and invasive species.
Dave White, who is great lakes coordinator for New York Sea Grant, says that many environment policy decisions were put on hold until after the election, and are still on hold until the current budget crisis is dealt with.
Sea Grant is hopeful that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which the Obama administration has committed to continuing to fund, will in fact be renewed.
"It has funded numerous opportunities for both environmental growth and economic growth, including here in New York," said White. "A lot of the projects that were funded in the first year or two are now just coming to fruition."
White says that funding for the Great Lakes can have an impact on the entire region's economy as well as helping restore the ecology.