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LATEST NEWS

February 15th 2018

Coalition Urges Congress to Reject Trump Budget, Infrastructure Plan

Two kids play along the Lake Michigan shore at the end of a summer’s day. Cuts to key Great Lakes program threaten an increase in beach closures, drinking water restrictions, and fish consumption advisories. Photo credit: Flickr/rkramer62.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (February 15, 2018)—The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today urged the U.S. Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s budget and infrastructure plan as insufficient to restore and protect the Great Lakes and to meet the needs of the 30 million people who depend on the lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life.

 

“We’re counting on Congress to keep federal Great Lakes restoration efforts on track and to put forward a robustly funded, bipartisan infrastructure package that provides financial relief to local communities and ensures that every person has access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Cutting funding now will only delay projects, making them more complicated and more expensive to complete.”

 

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget contains steep cuts to core Great Lakes programs. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is asking congress to restore Great Lakes funding and support a federal legislative agenda that includes:

  • funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the marquee program to restore the lakes;
  • funding to fix the region’s old, crumbling drinking water and wastewater infrastructure;
  • support of policies and funding that block Asian carp and other invasive species into U.S. waters;
  • funding for farm conservation programs in the Farm Bill;
  • defense of Clean Water Act and other environmental protections; and,
  • funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies that are instrumental in carrying out restoration work.

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February 15th 2018

What Trump’s Budget Means for Great Lakes Restoration

By Todd Ambs, campaign director, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition

 

Restoration work makes progress on Detroit, Mich.’s Belle Isle. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Detroit River.

On Monday, the Trump Administration released its proposed budget for 2019, which runs from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019. As was the case last year, the president’s proposed budget is a complete disaster for the Great Lakes and a non-starter for the millions of people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York who rely on the lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life.

 

The Trump Administration also released its infrastructure platform this week. You can read our initial thoughts here. We’ll have more to say on that in a few days.

 

In the meantime, here are some observations on the proposed Trump Administration budget.

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February 12th 2018

Trump Budget Cuts to Great Lakes Programs a ‘Non-Starter’

Administration ‘misses major opportunity’ with infrastructure plan

 

People use the Great Lakes for swimming, boating, and wildlife watching. This way of life is dependent on Great Lakes restoration and clean up. Credit: iStock photo.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 12, 2018)—The Trump Administration today released its proposed budget, which drastically cuts core Great Lakes programs as well as funding for the federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, charged with implementing them.

 

Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

 

The Trump Administration budget is a non-starter. The 30 million people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, health, jobs, and way of life deserve solutions to curb toxic algal outbreaks, halt invasive species like Asian carp, restore lost habitat, and clean up toxic contamination. It will once again be up to Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress to support Great Lakes restoration efforts that are producing results for our environment and economy in communities across the region. We look forward to working with Great Lakes leaders in the U.S. House and Senate to restore funding to these important programs to ensure that Great Lakes restoration remains a top national priority.”

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January 30th 2018

Trump State of the Union, Great Lakes Restoration

Tonight, President Trump gives his first State of the Union address. Staff at the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition will analyze the address through the lens of federal Great Lakes restoration efforts. The Trump Administration has not been a great supporter of federal restoration efforts, recommending last year to eliminate core programs. That said, we’ll be listening to the address for any more details on the Trump Administration’s proposed infrastructure strategy. Here in the region—and across the country—communities are grappling with antiquated, inadequate water infrastructure. They are also grappling with how to afford these needed water services.

 

A top priority for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is robust federal investment to help the eight Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York meet their clean water needs—because the need is great.

 

The region needs approximately $179 billion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years to make the system whole again. We’re not going to get there at current rates of federal investment. We also aren’t going to meet our clean water and Great Lakes restoration goals by rolling back core environmental protections. Leaked documents hint at the large-scale repeal of environmental protections in a Trump infrastructure package, as well as financing that relies on state, rather than federal, investment. We’ll weigh in once we see a final proposed infrastructure package.

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January 16th 2018

Washington Update: Fiscal Year 2018 Deliberations

The potential for a government shut down draws closer as the current continuing resolution for fiscal year 2018 runs out on Friday. At issue are several points of contention: how to resolve the fate of 700,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and increasing defense budget levels. Various splits within the Republican party and between the Republicans and Democrats are making compromise difficult.

The budget process overall is in a state of disarray. In theory, the federal budget for this year would’ve been decided on in October of 2017. As debate continues around passing another continuing resolution or passing an omnibus spending bill for FY18, we draw closer and closer to the regularly scheduled start of next fiscal year’s appropriation’s discussions.

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  • Impact of President Trump’s Budget

    Cuts to key Great Lakes programs as proposed by President Trump will undermine the progress we've been making to restore the lakes. We will look to our congressional champions to restore funding. Learn more about what's at stake for the Great Lakes under the proposed budget. Click here.  

  • Great Lakes Day 2018

      We're excited to announce Great Lakes Day 2018! This year we will be in Washington, D.C. March 7 and 8 asking Congress to prioritize Great Lakes restoration funding to protect our drinking water; fish and wildlife habitat; and our way of life. Learn more about how you can get involved by visiting GreatLakesDay.HealthyLakes.org

  • Washington Update: February 12, 2018

    Congress is still working on passing a budget for fiscal year 2018. But the budget process for fiscal year 2019 has now begun with the release of President Trump's proposed budget. Read the latest here.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Restoring the natural curves and riverbank of the Pike River in Wisconsin has reduced flooding and erosion, while increasing fish and wildlife habitat. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.

  • FIND HEALTHY LAKES ON