President Donald Trump has already called for major slashes to Great Lakes funding in next year’s federal budget, and now he’s recommending a $50 million cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative this year.
The Trump administration would use the $18 billion in cuts to the current budget to increase defense spending and save up for a border wall. The recommendations to Congress also include cuts in programs aimed at Great Lakes education outreach and cleaning up toxic waste sites.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says he and his colleagues in Congress are working to make sure these cuts don’t happen.
"Eliminating funding for the Great Lakes initiative is just wrong-headed, it makes no sense for our community," said Brown. "That’s bad enough – but now that they’re actually wanting to cut $50 million this year and then eliminating next year is even more troubling."
This news comes as hundreds have demonstrated their support for the Great Lakes through public hearings around the region.
Trump’s budget blueprint for 2018 would eliminate $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.