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Groups want Great Lakes on the presidential campaign radar

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Environmentalists are calling on presidential candidates to commit to doing more to protect the Great Lakes. 

The "Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition" has a 5-point action plan they’d like to see candidates adopt. 

  • Support $475 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
  • Triple funding to fix drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Uphold, enforce and strengthen—not weaken—clean water protections.
  • Reduce harmful algal blooms across the region.
  • Prevent Asian carpand other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.

“With so many of our Great Lakes cities and towns living with unsafe drinking water, we need strong water protection and enforcement, as well as federal funding, to insure that every person has access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water,” says coalition director Laura Rubin.
Rubin says next week’s Democratic debates in Detroit will offer an opportunity for candidates to address Great Lakes issues. 

She says they would also like to hear from other candidates as well, including the current resident of the White House.

Rubin declined to comment on President Trump’s policies regarding the Great Lakes.

In his first two federal budgets, the president proposed slashing funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Congress later fully funded the program.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition represents more than 160 groups. 

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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