Cleveland - Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman joined other state and local leaders at the Aloft Hotel in downtown Cleveland Friday, to demand that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative remain funded at the $300-million level.
Representatives from the business, industry and recreation sectors, as well as environmental groups stressed that if the program is crippled, it will be disastrous for Ohio's economy and the economies of neighboring states.
The Trump administration is proposing major cuts in the program, but it has bipartisan support from Senators Portman and Sherrod Brown, as well as Ohio members of Congress.
Portman says a major loss of funding would make it hard for cities like Cleveland to clean up pollution, stop invasive species, and the spread of toxic algae blooms.
It may also cause a decline in fish production and tourism.
Sen. Portman believes getting national leaders involved will be a key factor in their fight to protect the largest source of fresh water in the world.
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