Proposed cuts to Great Lakes programs a very bad deal

We think President Barack Obama is in deep water in proposing significant cuts to programs that address the Great Lakes most urgent environmental threats.

The president’s proposed 2015 budget released Tuesday requests $275 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which he established after taking office, The Associated Press reported. The initiative received $475 million the first year it was funded and has gotten about $300 million most years since then.

The program has funded projects across the eight-state region to clean up polluted harbors and river mouths, battle Asian carp and other invasive species, control runoff that causes algae blooms and restore wildlife habitat, said AP.

Todd Ambs of a group called the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says it opposes the spending cut, as well as a proposal to reduce funding for wastewater infrastructure improvements.

So do we.

At the risk of sounding a bit trite, the Great Lakes are the heart and soul of the nation.

Be it commerce or recreation, the Great Lakes make it happen.

President Obama should reconsider his priorities and properly fund Great Lakes programs.