Ohio environmental advocates say Lake Erie would be hurt by President Donald Trump’s proposed deep budget cuts to the U.S. EPA, and that damage would hurt the state’s economy.
The president’s plan would slash annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $10 million. The funding supports efforts to reduce algae-producing farm run-off into Lake Erie. Kristy Meyer of the Ohio Environmental Council says more toxic algae blooms will hurt tourism in the state.
“Tourism is a $40 billion industry, and nearly a quarter of that, more than a quarter of that comes from just eight counties along the lake. That’s $12.8 billion in revenue for the state of Ohio.”
Meyer says Trump’s proposed EPA cuts would also hurt programs to abate lead in drinking water and weaken safeguards for oil and gas drilling. Bipartisan congressional supporters of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative could block the president’s attempt to cut its funding.