The benefits of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are spread across western New York.
The Buffalo News reported, the benefits are apparent to those kayaking on a cleaned-up Buffalo River, fishing in Cattaraugus Creek or biking around Grand Island. The federal program has paid to remove toxins, rebuild habitat and restore wildlife species such as the bald eagle and lake sturgeon.
But now the Great Lakes program faces a budget cut, as it has the previous three years, with President Trump now proposing a 90% cut to the program in his 2020 fiscal budget.
Since 2010, more than $2 billion has been allocated among 3,400 restoration initiative projects -- up to $300 million a year shared by Great Lakes states.
"It puzzles me," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who's also on the binational Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Cities Initiative board. "This program has received strong bipartisan support. The White House is increasingly isolated in calling for these cuts, but we can't take anything for granted.”
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