The bill includes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which would be slashed by nearly 80 percent. The initiative funds successful projects in and around the Great Lakes, from cleaning up toxic contamination and reducing runoff from cities and farms, to controlling invasive species and restoring fish and wildlife habitat. The vote would slash program financing from $285 million to $60 million for fiscal year 2014.
The fresh waters of our Great Lakes are precious and finite—on average, less than one percent is renewed annually to the lakes from rainfall, runoff and groundwater. More than 30 million people depend on them for their drinking water, jobs, health and way of life.