Cities Initiative Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposed Cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (Cities Initiative), a coalition of mayors from over 130 cities across the basin representing over 17 million people, expresses deep concern over the Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts to key Great Lakes funding programs. On Monday, the White House released its $4.4 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, which slashes funds to the successful, bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) by 90 percent and Environmental Protection Agency funding by 23 percent.

Chair of the Cities Initiative Paul Dyster, Mayor of Niagara Falls, New York, said, “How the President can think that striping the funds that help protect the Great Lakes is a good thing clearly demonstrates his lack of understanding of how fragile the Great Lakes really are.”

John Dickert, President and CEO of the Cities Initiative, said, “With this devastating funding cut, the President has abandoned the Great Lakes region yet again. This short-sighted proposed budget would devastate our region’s freshwater and $5.8 trillion binational Great Lakes economy for generations.”

The GLRI provides integral funding for cleaning up toxic waste sites, improving storm water management, combating invasive species like Asian carp, and protecting habitat for fish and wildlife in the basin. Waterfront cities that rely on the lakes for their thriving tourism, navigation, industry, and drinking water are especially concerned about the cuts. The GLRI has a proven record of success and receives strong bipartisan support in Congress.