Restore funding for lakes cleanup, sewer runoff fixes

If one were keeping score regarding lawmakers who care about our area and the Great Lakes as a whole, they'd be giving the U.S House of Representatives a rotten Asian carp head.
Sep 12, 2013

They might, however, give the U.S. Senate a nice glass of cool, clean water.

You see, the representatives have called for a nearly 80 percent cut in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. These initiatives help cities modernize their sewer systems to prevent sewage runoff into Great Lakes tributaries, as well as work to clean up the lakes and prevent the spread of invasive species.

Both of these initiatives are critical to the Tri-Cities and all lakefront communities in our fine state.

The House proposed in its budget-slashing funding to the restoration initiative from $285 million to $60 million, and cutting from the clean water fund by another $1.1 billion.

The Senate, in its proposed budget, took a different tact — offering $300 million for the restoration initiative and investing $1.45 billion into the clean water fund.

It would seem that our senators see the immense value of our Great Lakes. Without the proper funding, water quality and economic interest such as tourism and fishing would suffer greatly.

We side with the many fishery commissions, environmentalists and community leaders who are pushing for better funding. Because every dime and drop of water is worth it.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

SLNativeSince1864

You just spiked a great idea. Aside from all the budgetary facts, we need to go Bowfishing in the Calumet River and start shipping stinky carp to Washington.

Tri-cities realist

There is already enough that stinks in DC!

ghresident

True, but the smell of fish might cover up the smell of bullchit......

Lanivan

Cry me a river. The US House Majority could care less about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, clean air and water, or much of anything else, for that matter, that would improve the economy, or the US social fabric. Since 2010, the House Majority has been resolute and decisive about slashing, repealing, obstructing, paralyzing, and defunding "government", while simultaneously retaining, expanding, and creating more corporate welfare.

The budget cuts outlined in this column are but a drop in the bucket. Multiply it x thousands to get an accurate picture of the degree of damage this proposed budget would create, if passed. Fortunately, the chances of it being passed, as is, are not great. But our elected representatives should be scrutinized and held accountable for this scorched-earth, slash and burn, lazy man's approach to a very serious debt problem.

Essentially, the House Majority is willing to jig the Great Lakes, and all that it entails, in order to catch a whopper of a ideology.

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