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House committee keeps funding for Great Lakes cleanup in federal budget

Jul 11, 2017

Congress is taking a step toward fully restoring funding for a program to clean up pollution in the Great Lakes region.

Federal agencies use Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) resources to target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. 

President Trump’s budget plan unveiled earlier this year slashed funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The money instead would go to building a wall on the southern border.

The proposal drew opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike. In March, more than 60 members of Congress signed a letter to U.S. House leadership urging the GLRI be funded at $300 million in the 2018 appropriations bill.

Today, the House Appropriations Committee is out with its budget plan, which includes $300 million for Great Lakes restoration.

Michigan Republican John Moolenaar says the “initiative does vital work across Michigan to protect the Great Lakes and the streams, rivers and lakes." 

Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur praises “the bipartisan effort” to restore the Great Lakes funding.

But the budget is far from set in stone, and changes may still come, before the final budget lands on the president’s desk.