Stand strong great lakes



The Trump Administration is moving forward with plans to cut funding for core programs that protect Michigan residents from tainted drinking water, toxic groundwater contamination, and harmful air pollution. Moreover, the proposal targets programs that protect the Great Lakes and slashes the overall EPA budget by nearly one-third. We can still stop these reckless proposals, but we need to act quickly! 

(Scroll down to check out the business and community leaders who have already spoken out)


We, the undersigned, write to urge you  to stand with the people and businesses of our state and region to demand responsible funding levels for federal programs that protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the health of our Great Lakes.

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget as released May 23, 2017 recommends slashing funding for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by nearly one-third and cutting the workforce by 20 percent eliminating more than 3,800 jobs. Moreover, the proposal targets dramatic cuts to programs that exist to protect the Great Lakes, clean drinking water and public health.

Severe cuts to the department’s clean water and clean air programs would fundamentally undermine the EPA and, in turn, Michigan’s ability to ensure that Michigan communities have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. For Michiganders, the Flint water crisis has demonstrated just how vulnerable our drinking water is and just how high the stakes can be when the EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fail to adequately enforce environmental safeguards.

Adjusted for inflation, the 31 percent cut from the current budget year proposed for the EPA would represent our nation’s lowest funding for environmental protection since the mid-1970s. Taken together, the cuts would shutter 50 agency programs and eliminate 3,800 of the agency’s 15,000 employees. Specific federal program cuts include:

– Elimination of the bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has been highly successful at decreasing pollution in the Great Lakes

– Elimination of programs to reduce the risk of lead exposure, despite the very recent Flint water crisis bringing the dangers of lead back into the public conversation

– Reduction of the EPA’s science and technology programs by 38 percent

– Reduction of the EPA’s federal enforcement office by 40 percent—the department tasked with ensuring compliance with federal environmental safeguards.

– Elimination of funds for programs that protect families from the invisible chemical threats in their homes, notably from Radon gas

– Elimination of program to ensure communities are not unfairly burdened by environmental hazards

– Half as much funding for the EPA office which determines drinking water safety standards

– Reduced funding for the Superfund cleanup program, which helps restore some of the nation’s most polluted sites and was previously identified by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as one of his top priorities

In addition to de-funding vital federal clean air and water programs, these cuts would fundamentally undermine Michigan-run programs as well. The Trump Administration has said that it wants state agencies to take more of the lead in enforcing environmental laws, but its budget proposal cuts grants that allow states to do that enforcement nearly in half.

The Michigan DEQ has said previously that drastic EPA cuts could hobble Michigan’s ability to monitor for pollutants including sulfur dioxide, mercury and ozone in the air, and chemicals, nutrients, and bacteria like e-coli in our rivers and lakes.

In fact, more than 30 percent of the Michigan DEQ annual budget—about $120 million—comes from federal sources and this budget proposal makes a 45 percent cut to “categorical grants” for states like Michigan, which are used to support critical state-run water protection programs. In total, the Michigan DEQ would lose about 200 employees if the EPA cuts pass Congress as proposed, according to the agency’s director, Heidi Grether.

The safety of the water we drink and the air we breathe is of paramount importance to all Michiganders. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue. These shortsighted cuts to basic funding for crucial environmental and public health safeguards must be stopped.

We are pleased that many of Michigan’s Congressional leaders have spoken out against the cuts to Great Lakes funding in particular. We ask you to continue to vociferously advocate for responsible funding levels for our clean water and environmental protections going forward. Michiganders are depending on your leadership.


Jeremy DeRoo, Linc up, Executive director

William S. Farr, Retired, Attorney

Dave Engbers, Founders Brewing Co, President

George Heartwell, former Mayor of Grand Rapids

Wendy Ogilvie, Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, Director of Environmental Programs

Chuck Korson, Black Market, Owner

Megan Kellogg, Darling Botanicals Co, Owner

Gary Jonas, The Little Fleet, Owner

Pete Farmer, Farmer Foot Drums, Co-owner

Kate Farmer, Farmer Foot Drums, Co-owner

Nicholas Theisen, Loma Farm, Owner

Donald Coe, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Board Member

David P, McGinnis, Traverse Tall Ship Company, LLC, Manager (Owner)

Doug Selby, Meadowlark, CEO

John Hoyt, Leelanau Cheese Company, Owner

William Richardson, Retired EPA, Grosse Ile Lab

Keith W Cooley, Principia, LLC, CEO

Sean Burns, Green Island, Owner

Guy Plamondon, Plamondon Shoes, Owner

Tina Schuett, Rare Bird Brewpub, Co-owner, Founder

Commissioner Erin Knott, City of Kalamazoo

Eric Cunningham, Co-founder of Networking Out

Emily Deering and Matt Caruso, Co-owners of The Stamped Robin

Carol and David Heflin, Co-owners of Foodies

Alison Sutter, Sustainability Professional

Thomas Newhouse, Thomas J. Newhouse-Design LLC, Principal

Dr. Cynthia Miner, Private Pediatric Practice, Psy. D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Commissioner Tracy Hall, County of Kalamazoo

Commissioner David Anderson, City of Kalamazoo

Commissioner Matt Milcarek, City of Kalamazoo

Commissioner Julie Rogers, County of Kalamazoo

Vice Mayor Don Cooney, City of Kalamazoo

Commissioner Kevin Wordelman, County of Kalamazoo

Bridget Hawks, Hotel Indigo Traverse City, General Manager

Robert Kerr, Metro Group Architects, President

Keith W Cooley, Principia, LLC, CEO

Sean Burns, Green Island, Owner

Guy Plamondon, Plamondon Shoes, Owner

Tina Schuett, Rare Bird Brewpub, Co-owner & founder

Donald Coe, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Board member

Bill Wood, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Executive Director

Bruce Goodman, Attorney

Milton Roye, 232 Advisors, Principal & CEO

Three ways you can fights these dangerous cuts

1. Add your name

Add your name to the growing call to protect Michigan’s communities and our natural resources, and demand responsible solutions from leaders in Washington DC.

Sign the Petition

2. Make a call

Take a minute to give your Congressperson a phone call to urge them to secure responsible funding levels to protect the health of our communities and our natural resources.

Call You Representative

3. Spread the word

Tell your family and friends about what is going on and how they can speak out against these reckless plans.

Spread the Word

Join the movement to protect the Great Lakes state

And we’ll show you two ways to help. Together, we can be a voice for change and protect Michigan’s land, air, water, public health, and democracy.