Remember when President Trump attempted to cut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) fund and Democrat and Republican politicians were up in arms?  We heard from them that all of the funds and more are needed to deal with our Great Lakes.

Well the Michigan Capitol Confidential news site has once again identified many examples of expensive GLRI projects that had nothing or little to do with directly protecting the Great Lakes.

Here are some of those examples:

  • Michigan State University received $1.5 million so researchers could work with health care providers to tell people about the risks of eating fish.
  • The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians received $200,00 in 2016 to help its members grow more wild rice.
  • In 2015, the surface of parking lot by a Chicago beach was replaced with porous material, with the GLRI kicking in $88,777. The new pavement was meant to prevent 18,000 gallons of rainwater from flowing into Lake Michigan every year. By comparison, a four-feet tall swimming pool holds about 18,500 gallons of water while Lake Michigan holds has an estimated six quadrillion gallons of water.
  • $210,000 to “conduct an inventory of bees” within the five national forests in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
  • $250,000 to Calvin College to assess the “population, reproductive and health impairments in colonial waterbirds breeding” in Michigan.
  • $203,874 for Indian reservations in Minnesota “to evaluate moose and deer use of habitat sites designed and managed for the benefit of the moose.”
  • $581,851 in 2010 to help the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe write fish advisories.

In total the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has handed out $2.4 billion in federal funds for 4,706 proposals from 2010 to 2018.

Jason Hayes, the Director of Environmental Policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy said:

“There’s a whole lot of money that gets thrown at the Great Lakes and it’s difficult to keep track of it...There is always this idea that you need more. And anybody who ever asks, ‘What is this being used for?’ and, ‘Is it useful?’ then you want to poison the Great Lakes. There is not any more thought that goes into it than that. As long as you are spending more, you are doing good.”

Does anymore really need to be said.

Either dedicate all of the money to the Great Lakes or stop asking for money that you will be wasting or spending on projects other than the Great Lakes.  You can certainly judge for yourselves whether the non-Great Lake projects are justified to spend taxpayer money on but do not spend Great Lakes Restoration taxpayer funds on projects that have nothing to do with the Great Lakes.  What they are attempting to do is scam the taxpayer on what the tax dollars are being spent on.

The politicians who advocated for the full funding of the GLRI should be ashamed of themselves, the Taxpayers dollars are not grown on trees.

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