Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funded in the House Bill
As many may remember, the Trump administration had proposed to almost completely eliminate the $300 million dollar funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for 2018.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative program was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water on the planet.
The GLRI is intended to build on restoration and protection work carried out under the first GLRI Action Plan, with a major focus on:
- Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern
- Preventing and controlling invasive species
- Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms
- Restoring habitat to protect native species
On the urging of Congressman John Moolenaar, R-Midland, his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee did include the GLRI funding in the House spending bill.
According to an article in the Detroit News Congressman Moolenaar stated in a press release:
Working with private organizations and our state’s leading research universities, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative does vital work across Michigan to protect the Great Lakes and the streams, rivers and lakes that run into them. This important priority for our state is funded in today’s legislation and I want to thank my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for joining me in supporting the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes is a national treasure and I do not have an issue with some funding being directed to protect our Great Lakes. The problem is with some of the projects in the GLRI. There are some projects that have little to do with the Great Lakes and these are the projects that should be considered to be on the chopping block.
The Director of the White House Budget Office was stated in a budget hearing last month stating:
You’ve given me something that I’ve not considered ... in that there is an international component, which may make it more federal than I thought it was before we chatted
This is why we have budget negotiations and I do not believe it is a bad thing to not just rubber stamp the funding of government programs year after year. Each year these agencies should have to justify the taxpayer money they ask for, sounds like common sense to me.