Proposed Federal Cuts Threaten Local AIS Efforts

The federal budget proposed last week by President Trump eliminates the Sea Grant Program completely and slashes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from $300 million to just $10 million dollars a year. These cuts will have a profound impact on Minnesota’s efforts to protect our lakes and rivers.

 

Sea Grant funding for research, education, and outreach improves shoreline conservation, development and responsible use of water resources of all costal areas of the United States, including the Great Lakes and Minnesota’s inland lakes and rivers. Minnesota Sea Grant provides a lot of support to lake protection efforts across Minnesota (and other states) and directly to lake association groups.

 

Cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would impact Minnesota directly since GLRI provides $800,000 that is used to fund DNR level 1 and level 2 inspectors at boat ramps. It funds on the ground protection of our lakes. In addition GLRI protects drinking water, fisheries stability and health, Great Lakes shipping bio-security, safety, preventing Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, sea lamprey and other Aquatic Invasive Species efforts in the entire Great Lakes basin. GLRI provides webinars on the latest science for AIS managers, supports research into AIS solutions, and serves as a main communications hub for AIS efforts in the Great Lakes basin. GLRI scientists correctly identified the AIS vectors into the Great Lakes, and were able to take action to block them. The Great Lakes have not had a new invasive species introduction since 2006. Since Minnesota’s main source of AIS is through the Great lakes, cuts to Sea Grant and GLRI will put every lake in the state at higher risk.

 

If you value lakes and rivers in Minnesota, these two organizations are critically important. Let your U.S. Congressperson and Senator know that you do not support cuts to these two programs.

Send Legislators an email urging them to protect funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Sea Grant.

Some boilerplate language has been provided, but please personalize the message, using your own words and with your own experiences.  Thank you for all you do to protect a simple Minnesota heritage – time spent at the lake with family and friends.

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