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Some US lawmakers, small business owners, worried about proposed Great Lakes cuts

Apr 5, 2017

President Trump's proposed budget cuts to Great Lakes restoration has some Michigan lawmakers and small business owners concerned.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a federal program that helps clean pollution and combat invasive species in Michigan's fresh water. Under the suggested cuts, the GLRI would be slashed to help pay for Trump's proposed Mexican border wall.

Denny Grinold is a charter boat captain in Grand Haven. He's worried about the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes and the damage they can do to Michigan's native aquatic life. He is among many who depend on the health of the Great Lakes in order to keep his job.

"Without GLRI funding, my charter business, along with hundreds of businesses like mine, would suffer and eventually fail," he said.

Congressman Dan Kildee says the health of the Great Lakes has economic consequences outside of just Michigan.

"A strong region is good for the whole country, and if [the Great Lakes] is challenged or begins to suffer pretty significant economic impact, one way or another the whole country is going to end up paying for it," Kildee said.

Second to polar ice caps, the Great Lakes are the largest source of fresh water in the world.