In February, President Trump released
yet another proposed budget that included massive funding cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, taking $298 million in funds down to $3o million. But congress has pushed back.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate approved a funding bill for next year that allots $300 million to the initiative. As the House of Representatives already approved a similar budget last month, an agreement will have to be made on the exact amount in the coming months.
The GLRI, which began in 2010, has been championed on both sides of the aisle, and both Ohio Senators, Democratic Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, were among those urging congress to fully fund the program prior to the vote.
As Portman reminded in a statement following the Senate decision: "As the world's largest freshwater body, the Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people, contribute $10 billion in tourism each year, and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region."
The funding announcement comes after a recent government report
showing how bad of shape the Great Lakes, and Lake Erie in particular, are in thanks to algal blooms and pollution.