MILWAUKEE (AP) - A
group representing Great Lakes region mayors in the U.S. and Canada is
sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological
recovery initiative for the Great Lakes.
administration's potential cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
were reported by the Detroit Free Press last week. They would slash annual
funding for the $300 million program to $10 million.
combats invasive species, curbs nutrient-fueled algae blooms, cleans up
toxic messes and restores sensitive fish and wildlife habitat.
"Cuts of this
magnitude would be devastating to the efforts of our two countries over the
past five decades to restore the resource," David Ullrich, executive
director of The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, told the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a story published Sunday. His group
represents mayors from more than 125 U.S. and Canadian cities in the Great
Ullrich said the
cuts would also undermine all of the lake restoration and protection efforts
underway by local governments, which are collectively far more significant
than the federal restoration initiative launched by the Obama administration
have been investing at over $15 billion per year ... well beyond the federal
governments' investments," Ullrich said, "and this would be a major step
back from the responsibility shared for this resource."
have also criticized the potential cuts.
protection is not a partisan issue. No matter how different our backgrounds,
Great Lakers value clean water," the Alliance for the Great Lakes said in a
statement Friday. "For decades, people of all political affiliations from
all corners of the region, have consistently shown strong support for
protecting the Great Lakes. And, some of the most critical programs and
regulations targeted by President Trump's proposed cuts have been supported
by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle."