Great Lakes Restoration Funding Assured

April 3, 2019

Both EPA Administrator Wheeler and President Trump have announced that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) will receive full funding next year. Environmental and citizen groups in the region reacted quickly following the recent submission of President Trump’s proposed 2020 budget, which reduced GLRI’s funding by 90 percent.

GLRI was founded in 2010 and has sought $300 million each year to fund its action plans. It works with Federal agencies and states on establishing action plans, with objectives such as controlling invasive species and restoring the economic and ecological vitality of the Great Lakes.

“ILMA has been following the GLRI closely because of the efforts to reduce phosphorus reaching the Great Lakes,” said ILMA CEO Holly Alfano. “While most industrial discharges of phosphorus are already controlled, the initiatives in the Midwest could affect members’ use of the substance in their products.

Despite the proposed budget, the president announced at a rally in Michigan last week that the GLRI will be fully funded next year. However, the EPA’s final budget set by Congress could affect the actual monies used for the GLRI.

Following uncertainty about the EPA’s commitment to the GLRI, Administrator Wheeler confirmed funding in a House hearing in early April. Wheeler defended the EPA budget cuts as essential to the president’s goal of shrinking the Government, but he said that the Agency will still fund priority projects.