"It started with the idea that we had studied the Great Lakes to death, but there was very little money to actually do on-the-ground, shovels-in-the-mud projects to actually restore the Great Lakes and make them usable", Boyer said.
But under President Trump's proposed budget, funding would plummet to only $30 million, meaning the restoration initiative would be losing a whopping $267,963.
The Trump Administration also released its national infrastructure platform, which foists much of the financial costs onto local and state government, while also rolling back landmark environmental protections. He says the Great Lakes provide drinking water to 40 million Americans and contribute 10 billion dollars in tourism.
He tells Great Lakes Now, "A national infrastructure plan that runs roughshod over environmental protections and ignores climate change can not be taken seriously-and threatens to throw good money after bad while failing to address urgent water needs for the region and exacerbating pollution".
Trump has proposed cutting the program from $300 million to $30 million next year.
The Great Lakes program is the largest program. Members of Congress opted to fully fund the program for 2018. The Republican-led U.S. House Appropriations Committee a year ago squelched Trump's attempted cuts for 2018 and fully funded the initiative, which enjoys wide bipartisan support and which funds water quality oversight, agricultural runoff mitigation, wildlife habitat preservation and more.
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said in a statement that the GLRI is critical to cleaning up the Great Lakes and for heading off invasive species like Asian carp.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 150 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. "I will fight these draconian cuts in every way that I can".