ANN ARBOR, MICH. (May 1, 2017) – The U.S. House and Senate agreed on a 2017 budget to fund the federal government through September 30. The budget—which maintains funding for core Great Lakes programs—comes amid threats by the Trump Administration to cut funds for Great Lakes programs this year and eliminate them in next year’s 2018 budget. The recent budget deal includes:
- $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (the same funding as last year’s fiscal year 2016 budget) to support the clean-up of toxic pollution, restoration of fish and wildlife habitat, management of invasive species, and prevention of runoff from cities and farms.
- $1.39 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (same as fiscal year 2016) to help communities fix, update and repair waste water infrastructure.
- $863 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (same as fiscal year 2016) to help communities fix, update and repair drinking water infrastructure.
Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:
“This budget keeps federal Great Lakes efforts on track and sends a strong signal that protecting the drinking water for more than 30 million people needs to be a long-term national priority. We’re pleased public officials in Congress stood up to support Great Lakes investments that are producing results for our environment and economy and resisted cuts that would only make projects more difficult and expensive to tackle. Serious threats remain and our work is not done until we’ve put an end to beach closures, fish consumption advisories, and unsafe drinking water. We look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress—who have consistently voiced strong bi-partisan support for Great Lakes restoration programs that protect our drinking water, jobs, and way of life—to reject cuts and ensure that these priorities are funded in 2018.”
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 145 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.