Watertown Daily Times calls President Trump’s approach on vital Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River programs a, “Budget blunder.” And they are absolutely right!
In a March 11th editorial the Watertown Daily Times called out the President for his proposal to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency and his intention to “wrench most of this from the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative”.
The Times had reported the day before “Mr. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget request calls for funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to fall from $300 million to $10 million, a 97 percent reduction. Reuters reported the Environmental Protection Agency’s overall budget will be cut about 25 percent.”
This is simply outrageous.
As the Times editorial points out, “[t]o date, the GLRI [Great Lakes Restoration Initiative] has invested more than $2.2 billion in restoration projects in the Great Lakes.” In an earlier story the Times noted, “the GLRI provides funding for thousands of projects pertaining to wetlands restoration, combating invasive species and cleaning up toxins in the Great Lakes and along their shores.”
The GLRI has received bipartisan support in Congress since its inception. It is a keystone in the nation’s commitment to restore the health of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River; the largest freshwater system on earth, drinking water supply to millions and a recreational mecca that draws visitors from all over the world.
GLRI funded projects have certainly benefitted the environment of the communities where they are located. But these projects have also supported the economy of those communities with the direct and indirect jobs they have created and by the increased commercial and recreational use of the waters they have restored.
Save The River wholeheartedly agrees with the Times’ conclusion that, “Mr. Trump cannot be allowed to finance his plans at the expense of the health of the Great Lakes”.
And, while we are fortunate on the St. Lawrence River that Congresswoman Stefanik and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand support the GLRI, we know that restoration of these draconian cuts will not be easy to reverse and the effort will take more than the support of our local representatives.
For these reasons Save The River is committed to working with groups from all of the Great Lakes states to stop the President’s plan to slash the EPA and GLRI funding. You can help two ways:
- Call your representatives at (202) 224-3121:
- If they support full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; say “Thanks”. Positive messages work to shore up support.
- If they don’t support the GLRI; Tell them why it is important to you that they do. Personal stories help them understand how these programs impact real people.
- Fighting these cuts will require resources. Please consider becoming a member of Save The River, or making a donation to help us maintain these important programs and protect the St. Lawrence River.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in New York State by the numbers:
Read the full Watertown Daily Times editorial and stories at these links:
- Budget blunder: Proposed cuts would imperil Great Lakes restoration effort, March 11, 2017
- Advocacy group: Massive Great Lakes funding cuts could hurt Lake Ontario, March 10, 2017
- Trump proposing massive cuts to Great Lakes fund, March 5, 2017