CHICAGO (April 1, 2022) – The Biden Administration released its proposed budget on Monday, which outlines the Administration priorities for Fiscal Year 2023. While the President’s budget is only a request to Congress, it informs Congress in the drafting of annual spending bills. Marnie Urso, Senior Policy Director for Audubon Great Lakes, released the following statement in response to the proposed budget, and is available for public comment.
“The Great Lakes, both the waters and the surrounding land and wildlife habitats, is a globally significant ecosystem that serves as a resource for millions of birds and people – yet it faces significant threats including coastal development, invasive species and climate change.
The Biden Administration’s proposed budget includes important investments for clean energy research, a civilian conservation corps, and supports increased funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overall and for the Agency’s environmental justice efforts. However, the proposed budget comes up short in some places like funding the Great Restoration Initiative, a federal program that serves to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world.
Since it launched more than a decade ago, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GRLI) has guided billions of dollars to fund more than 6,000 critically important restoration projects that have made the region healthier. These projects, including Audubon Great Lakes’ work to protect vulnerable marsh birds, are crucial to improving water quality and habitat to protect our region’s wildlife, local communities and economies.
The proposed budget’s $340.1 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is less than the $348 million that Congress funded in the current fiscal year. With each year, climate change poses a more serious threat to our health and safety of our region. It’s more important than ever that the federal government do all that it can to ensure the protection of one of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems. Audubon Great Lakes urges an investment at the authorized level of $400 million for the GLRI.”
About Audubon Great Lakes
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.
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