The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) today urged Congress to again reject the steep reductions to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative proposed in the Trump Administration’s budget. The president has proposed a 90 percent cut, which would reduce funding from $300 million to $30 million.
Ohio’s corn, soy and wheat farmers have been strong supporters of the program for almost a decade. Since 2009 the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $300 million annually in water quality improvement efforts and generated more than $2 billion for previously unfunded restoration work over the past eight years. These investments protect the public health and the environment.
“Congress stepped up in support of Lake Erie last year, and we need them to do so again now,” said OCWGA President Jed Bower. “The Great Lakes are the source of nourishment, fishing and recreation for millions of Americans, and we must protect them.”
“The administration’s proposal would halt the positive momentum we have going with respect to water quality in Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes,” said OSA President Allen Armstrong. “We appreciate the support our senators and representatives demonstrated last year, and we ask for that support again.”
The Trump administration proposed severe cuts to Great Lakes funding for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year budget and proposed eliminating it in 2018. However, in both instances, led by Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, Congress voted to keep programs at their current funding level of $300 million.