Coalition: President Obama’s Budget ‘Keeps Great Lakes Restoration on Track’

ANN ARBOR (Feb. 13, 2012) – President Barack Obama released his 2013 budget today, which contains $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative –maintaining funds for the program at the level appropriated by the U.S. Congress in the fiscal year 2012 budget.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supports solutions to some of the most urgent threats to the Great Lakes, including toxic contamination, polluted run-off, aquatic invasive species, and loss of habitat and wetlands. The program is widely hailed as re-igniting the nation’s effort to restore the Great Lakes—a resource that more than 30 million people depend on for their drinking water.

Over the last three years, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $1 billion to restoration programs in the eight states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Today, responding to the White House budget, Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

“President Obama’s budget keeps Great Lakes restoration on track. The budget acknowledges that restoration programs are producing results—but there is more work to do. We applaud President Obama’s ongoing support for Great Lakes restoration, even in a difficult budget climate, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Congress to ensure the nation continues to make Great Lakes restoration a national priority.”

“The bottom line is the nation cannot afford not to protect the Great Lakes—more than 30 million people depend on the Lakes for drinking water. If we cut funding now, it will only cost more later, because projects will only get harder and more expensive the longer we wait.”

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 120 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

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