President Trump once thought of cutting the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) by 90% from $300 to $30 million.  He has since stated that he would not but perhaps he should reconsider that decision.

The Michigan Capitol Confidential news site is reporting on spending from the GLRI funds on projects that have nothing to do with the Great Lakes.  They pointed to the following projects and grants:

  • $80,000 to the Red Cliff band of Lake Superior Chippewas in Wisconsin to hire an “environmental justice specialist.”
  • $100,000 to reseed existing wild rice beds in Wisconsin that will be used for wild rice research and cultural education for the native tribal youth.
  • $99,000 to hire a program analyst to write grants to get more federal money for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Michigan.
  • $99,000 in a multi-state effort to study the plant known as Pitcher’s thistle. The plant was added to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants in 1988.
  • $10,000 to spend on a habitat suitability study to see if the Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly can be reintroduced in parts of Indiana.
  • $142,969 to spend on eliminating predators such as snakes and raccoons to protect turtles in a multi-state area.

Did you know that since 2010, the GLRI has been given and spent $2.48 billion of our tax dollars for more than 4,800 projects.  How many of those projects had nothing to do with the Great Lakes like the ones pointed out above.

All of us, whether we are Democrats, Republicans or anywhere in between or outside of those ideologues should be concerned about our government spending money on projects they were never intended for.

This should be a bipartisan effort to demand better from our bureaucrats and politician’s.