WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) released the following statement strongly opposing President Trump’s budget request to eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), saying he would fight to preserve the program and its funding:

“The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy.  According to a recent study, the GLRI’s work generates a total of more than $80 billion in benefits in health, tourism, fishing, and recreation. The study also states that GLRI saves local communities like Toledo $50 million in costs, and increases property values across the region by a total of $12 billion.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a critical tool in our efforts to help protect and restore Lake Erie, and when the Obama administration proposed cuts to the program, I helped lead the effort to restore full funding.  I have long championed this program, and I’m committed to continuing to do everything I can to protect and preserve Lake Erie, including preserving this critical program and its funding.” 

NOTE: Portman led efforts to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at its authorized level of $300 million in FY 2016, despite attempts by the Obama administration to cut funding for the initiative. In its last budget request, the Obama administration requested a $50 million cut.  Last Friday, Portman led a bipartisan letter to the EPA administrator expressing concern about reports the Trump Administration’s 2018 budget request may include significant cuts to Great Lakes funding.

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