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President’s Budget Proposal Would Reduce Funds To Restore Great Lakes

Environmental Groups Say They Will Fight Proposed Cuts

Lake Michigan shoreline
Daniel Marchese (CC BY 2.0)

President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget would slice some of the money available to restore the Great Lakes.

The president wants to put $50 million less into the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative next year.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official Stan Meiburg sidestepped a question about why the president wants to go from $300 million a year to $250 million in support for the effort. But, Meiburg said the restoration fund is making a difference.

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“We’ve invested … almost $2 billion over the last six years on the Great Lakes, and the purpose of the investment of additional $250 million is to continue the great work in progress that’s going on up there,” Meiburg said.

Some environmentalists pledge to fight the proposed cut. Todd Ambs, of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said Obama’s plan is a non-starter. Ambs said last year, the EPA tried to cut $25 million from the initiative, but a bipartisan effort in Congress restored the money.

The coalition hopes for a repeat of that situation this year.