“We’ve seen numerous news reports this morning that the Trump Administration may propose massive reductions in funding for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and essential programs within the agency, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Gutting the U.S. EPA and its programs tasked with protecting clean water would be a disaster, rolling back decades of hard work to restore and protect our nation’s greatest fresh water resource – the Great Lakes.

Memories are short. But it was not so long ago that our country united for change, shocked by images of a river on fire. Federal laws are the cornerstone of bringing clean water to people, and they only work when enforced.

We have seen the tragedy and heartbreak that occurs when our nation’s clean water programs fail. Lead-tainted drinking water flowing from taps in Flint, Michigan. Toxic algal blooms shutting down Toledo, Ohio’s drinking water system. These are just two examples from a list longer than is acceptable in the United States of America. If anything, evidence indicates that federal environmental protections should be more aggressive and accountable, not less.

Restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is also inextricably linked to regional prosperity. It is impossible for our nation’s leaders to fulfill campaign commitments to grow jobs, improve quality of life in our cities, and redevelop the economic strength of the Midwest without protecting the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes protection is not a partisan issue. No matter how different our backgrounds, Great Lakers value clean water. For decades, people of all political affiliations from all corners of the region, have consistently shown strong support for protecting the Great Lakes. And, some of the most critical programs and regulations targeted by President Trump’s proposed cuts have been supported by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

During their campaigns, lawmakers from both parties in the Great Lakes Congressional delegation pledged support for Great Lakes protection and clean water. We will hold our region’s lawmakers accountable for their promises. Congress must stand strong in favor of the Great Lakes and clean water.”

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Media Contact: Jennifer Caddick, jcaddick@greatlakes.org, (312) 445-9760

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