Dear TU Colleagues:
On March 16, 2017, President Trump released his FY18 budget blueprint
which promises drastic cuts to several key agencies and programs that are essential for TU's mission and work, including the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Program. Trout Unlimited is deeply troubled
by the proposed cuts, which would entirely eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative program (GLRI)
. Since 2010, the GLRI has supported more than 3,400 projects, totaling nearly $1.76 billion, in the Great Lakes region, including TU projects improving stream connectivity and restoring instream habitat.
Please contact your Senators and Representatives in Congress and urge them to defend funding for the Great Lakes
. Without a program like the GLRI, progress to cleanup and protect the Great Lakes will be significantly held back.
The largest freshwater ecosystem on earth, the Great Lakes provide drinking water to more than 35 million people on a daily basis. The Great Lakes are home to thousands of fish and wildlife species, from blue herons and whitetail deer to walleye and salmon. This abundance of wildlife makes the region a world class hunting and fishing destination and drives a significant and crucial part of the Great Lakes outdoor economy as it supports a $7 billion fishery and a $16 billion tourism industry annually.
Projects to improve fisheries have been completed in all eight Great Lakes Basin states
. Wisconsin is seeing a $750,000 investment in infrastructure to improve fish passage in and around the Nicolet National Forest, Michigan has received funding to improve the Rogue, Pere Marquette, Manistee, and Little Manistee rivers, and Minnesota has benefited from projects on Lake Superior tributaries like the Sucker River and Stewart River, just to name a few Trout Unlimited initiatives.
Trout Unlimited relies on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to work with local communities and other partners to complete projects that strengthen trout, salmon, and steelhead fisheries.
GLRI projects often feature a 2:1 -or even 3:1 - ratio return in matching funds, which provides a boost to local economies across the region. This economic benefit comes in the form of improved infrastructure, such as culvert replacements or dam removals, the use of local contractors, and through the spending of sportsmen and women as the improved habitat becomes an angling or hunting destination.
Please call your Representatives in Congress and urge them to defend funding for the Great Lakes. Without a program like the GLRI, progress to cleanup and protect the Great Lakes will be significantly held back.
For more information, please contact TU's Great Lakes Organizer, Taylor Ridderbusch, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Lakes Organizer