Coalition: Obama Budget Keeps Great Lakes Restoration on Track

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to get $300 million in 2014 budget

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (April 10, 2013) – President Barack Obama released his 2014 budget today, which maintains support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million. The program has invested more than $1 billion over the last three years to clean up toxic pollution, confront invasive species, restore habitat and prevent runoff from cities and farms.

The budget also contains over $1 billion for the national Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund – over $400 million of which will help communities in the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York fix old sewers to prevent sewage overflows.

Commenting on the Obama Administration’s budget, Chad Lord, policy director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

“This budget keeps Great Lakes restoration on track.

“We applaud President Obama for his ongoing commitment to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and for keeping the pledge he made in his first campaign to restore America’s Great Lakes. 

“This budget will maintain momentum for one of the largest restoration efforts in the nation. It underscores the commitment of the Obama Administration to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Maintaining funding for successful Great Lakes programs is a strong investment in our nation’s environment and economy.

“The budget acknowledges that restoration projects are producing results, but there is more work to do.  Great Lakes restoration continues to be a bipartisan national priority, and we look forward to working with the Obama Administration and U.S. Congress to ensure the nation continues to invest in the economic and ecological health of the Great Lakes.

“The nation cannot afford to stop protecting the Great Lakes. More than 30 million people depend on the Great Lakes for their 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 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. Learn more at www.healthylakes.org or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.

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