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Letter: Caring for Great Lakes must remain a priority

Caring for Great Lakes must remain a priority

Unfortunately, many of the supporters of President Trump’s EPA cuts were not witnesses to the previous conditions within the Great Lakes. In the ’50s, Lake Erie was declared a “dead lake” by many residents. It has taken many years of various groups of stakeholders to regain the Great Lakes as a jewel that we must forever protect. The Great Lakes generate our water supply with side benefits such as boating, swimming, fishing and just plain old beautiful sunsets.

The Great Lakes, flowing from the mid-United States and Canada to the Atlantic Ocean, have many political jurisdictions that have involvement in being caretakers. The Great Lakes Compact is an agreement among the stakeholders to work together not as a state or country but as a team for the improvement of this precious resource. In 2009, President Barack Obama established the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that dedicated EPA funding to many Great Lakes projects. Now that is in jeopardy with Trump’s proposed budget which, if adopted by Congress, will curtail many Great Lakes improvements.

It has been said we should learn from history, not relive it. It is imperative that we call upon Congress to reinstate the draconian cuts to the EPA Great Lakes programs. The Great Lakes belong to all of us and maybe the cost of a jet or a wall should not have priority. Let your voice be heard.

Richard “Dick” Smith

Retired Assembly member

Hamburg

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