Great Lakes Funding
Funding for Great Lakes programs declined in the proposed fiscal 2007 budget. The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget dropped by more than $300 million, with a $193-million cut (down to $687 million) to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Support for the Great Lakes Legacy program – which cleans up contaminated sediments at Areas of Concern – is proposed at $49.6 million, a $400,000 decrease from the proposed fiscal 2006 budget but a $19.6-million increase over the fiscal 2006 appropriation. Funding for EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office, which provides vital grants to the Great Lakes region, dropped from the $22.072 million appropriated in fiscal 2006 to $20.58 million proposed in fiscal 2007. The EPA’s budget references a federal/state effort to develop plans to restore, enhance, and protect 200,000 acres of wetlands in the Great Lakes, yet additional information is not available.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s budget dropped by $2.0 million – from $14.3 million in fiscal 2006 to $12.3 million in fiscal 2007. This cut will have a serious impact on sea lamprey control efforts. The International Joint Commission’s budget remains the same as fiscal 2006.
Funding for the Corps of Engineers’ work in the Great Lakes was cut substantially. The Corps’ account for maintaining shipping channels was cut pretty severely last year. Additional cuts were made this year, but additional information is not yet available. Many of the Corps environmental programs in the Great Lakes – such as the Great Lakes Fishery & Ecosystem Restoration, Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans & Sediment Remediation, John Glenn Basin program – were not provided any funding.