Pushing to keep Great Lakes funding

Posted at 7:14 PM, Mar 13, 2017

More than 100 people from throughout the Great Lakes region, including several from Western New York are headed to Washington, D.C. this week. They're going to Capitol Hill to advocate for funding for the Great Lakes.

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering major cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's budget, including a 97 percent cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which funds cleanup efforts on the Buffalo River. Those funds created a economic boon along the river with businesses and housing.

Democratic Congressman, Brian Higgins is leading a group of Western New York supporters, including Niagara Falls Mayor, Paul Dyster to Washington this week.

"It's not simply an expenditure of federal dollars. It's an investment into communities that federal government has an obligation to help," Higgins said.

Republican Congressman, Chris Collins released this statement.

" Right now, nothing in the President's budget has been finalized. In past budgets, I have always supported increased funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. I am aware of the rumored cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and monitoring the situation closely," Collins said.

There have been 285 other restoration projects funded through this program in New York State since 2010. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper officials say the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has increased tourism, improved and enhanced the quality of life along Lake Erie.