In an initial 2018 budget proposal, funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), funded by the EPA, has been cut by 97%. Many organizations rely on this funding for protecting our Great Lakes from pollution and threats like invasive pests. In conjunction with the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC), Ottawa County Parks applied for a $600,000 GLRI grant to help cover surveying and treatment of HWA for private land owners. A cut of this size could affect the potential grant dollars for this initiative.
“Brian Patrick, spokesperson for U.S. House Great Lakes Task Force Chair Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said the White House could expect Republican pushback from the delegation if the proposed GLRI cuts remain.
Last month, the task force sent the White House a letter advocating for continued funding of the program at $300 million each year, calling it a “tremendous success” which has brought together governments, tribes and businesses.
If the GLRI cut is included in Trump’s final budget, Patrick said ‘it would face strong bipartisan opposition’ from Huizenga and other members of the task force. ‘Congressman Huizenga believes the GLRI plays a critical role in maintaining the environmental health of the Great Lakes region,’ he said.”
Consider making a call to express your support for the GLRI.