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Fight for federal Great Lakes funding heating up

aerial photo of the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
President Donald Trump's cuts to Great Lakes funding are getting bipartisan pushback from Michigan lawmakers.

Environmentalists and their allies in Congress are stepping up their efforts to fight proposed cuts to federal Great Lakes funding and the EPA budget.

President Trump proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, as well as effectively eliminating federal money for Great Lakes restoration projects.  The Trump budget would shift the financial burden of maintaining the Great Lakes onto the eight states in the region.     

“When Donald Trump and (EPA administrator) Scott Pruitt propose a budget that zeroes out the Great Lakes and threatens the very existence of the EPA here in the Midwest, it is crystal clear they do not value our (Great) Lakes,” said the Sierra's Club Jack Darin. 

Darin is particularly concerned that oversight of Midwest EPA programs could move from Chicago to Kansas City or Washington D.C.

Environmental groups are hoping to generate public pressure on Congress, which is reviewing the president’s budget proposal. They’re hoping Great Lakes governors and members of Congress will lobby for more funding, not less, in the next federal budget.

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) said it’s important to “elevate the conversation.”

“So that people back home understand that this is a real threat. That will result in much more communication with their members of Congress,” said Kildee.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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