Great Lakes Restoration Initiative | WOSU Radio

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing plans for the next phase of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The effort began in 2010 and has funded more than 4,000 improvement projects totaling $2.4 billion.

The next phase is set to begin in September and be carried out over the next five years. It’s moving forward despite President Trump’s initial plan to de-fund it.  

Lawmakers fought to have funding restored, but Senator Sherrod Brown said the president’s view of the project is a concern.

A docked boat is reflected in the algae-covered water of Lake Erie's Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio in this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

As Congress looks over President Donald Trump’s budget, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is criticizing the administration for proposing a 90 percent cut to Great Lakes restoration funds.

Updated at 11:31 p.m. ET

Editor's note: NPR has decided in this case to spell out a vulgar word that the president used because it meets our standard for use of offensive language: It is "absolutely integral to the meaning and spirit of the story being told."

At his Thursday night rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., President Trump and his supporters were in a celebratory mood.

Key federal funding for the Great Lakes has survived again thanks to Congress.

This is the second time President Trump proposed a big cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And Congress restored it full: $300 million for the 2019 budget year. 

A coalition of environmental groups involved in protecting the Great Lakes, says President Trump’s 2019 budget and infrastructure plan are both “dead on arrival.” And members are asking Congress to preserve funding for the lakes -- as it did last year.  


A docked boat is reflected in the algae-covered water of Lake Erie's Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio in this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

President Trump pushed again Monday to slash funding for the Great Lakes -- repeating a move he made unsuccessfully last year.

Amy Nichole Harris / Shutterstock

A new year brings new opportunities for recreation and commercial interests along the Great Lakes. It also means seven gubernatorial elections in states that border the lakes, and growing concern over climate change.

The federal tax overhaul Congress passed earlier this month amassed a lot of attention and what it would do as far as tax breaks and increases. But a provision was slipped into the large piece of legislation that has many environmental advocates concerned. 

Despite a White House proposal to eliminate $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the House Appropriations Committee voted late Tuesday to fully fund the program through September 2018.

The vote marks an important step toward securing funding for the Great Lakes cleanup program in the federal budget for the next fiscal year.


Elizabeth Miller / Ideastream

Congress has taken its first step to ensure that Great Lakes restoration continues in 2018 – contrary to President Trump's budget plan.

Lake Erie shore line in Sandusky, Ohio.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are sifting through President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which has gotten a lot of heat from Democrats. There’s one issue that has riled up some of Ohio’s leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Lake Erie shore line in Sandusky, Ohio.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are sifting through President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which has gotten a lot of heat from Democrats. There’s one issue that has riled up some of Ohio’s leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The deal to head off a government shutdown this weekend includes hundreds of millions of dollars for the Great Lakes and drinking water systems. Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says the bill is a good step, but broader investment is needed.