Milwaukee Riverkeeper Joins 130 Environmental Groups to Oppose Deep Cuts to Environmental Funding in FY18 Budget Proposal
President's proposed budget cuts to environment threaten health of Milwaukee River Basin
MILWAUKEE – Today, the president released a proposed budget that includes a 100% budget cut for Geat Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding, a popular and beneficial bi-partisan program that accelerates efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. The proposed cut is even deeper than the expected 97% devastating cut announced earlier this week, which would have reduced funding from $300 million per year to $10 million per year.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper has joined over 130 environmental groups in signing a letter to the U.S. congress asking them to reject the damaging cuts to our environment and natural resource programs included in the president’s proposed FY18 budget.
Jennifer Bolger Breceda, Executive Director of Milwaukee Riverkeeper, released this statement today:
“The health of our Great Lakes and local waterways is a bi-partisan issue. Each of the eight Great Lakes states, including Wisconsin, spend billions of dollars annually to protect a national treasure that contains 20% of the world’s surface freshwater. The administration’s current plan to decentralize current federal clean water support ignores the need for collaboration to comprehensively address our nation’s biggest environmental challenges. These cuts threaten our continued progress to improve water quality and create healthier communities.
To date, GLRI has funded several local projects including the removal of 70% of the PCB load from the Milwaukee River in the Lincoln Park area, the removal of 17,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the KK River, the removal of over 10 dams and hundreds of fish passage barriers in Ozaukee County, and many other local restoration projects ranging from Rotary Park and the Milwaukee River Greenway along the Milwaukee River to Three Bridges Park along the Menomonee River.”
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Historic rainfall levels in 2018, land-use practices, failing infrastructure and other human activities, in both urban and rural parts of the Milwaukee River Basin, ultimately led to the decline in grade (C- to D).